©2003 SpeedCenter Publishing
INDIANAPOLIS (May 21, 2003) – The strength of the worldwide television package put together for the 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford is paying off in the first quarter of the season as the first five races have drawn an average viewership of over nine million people.
Led by strong coverage in the United States with SPEED Channel and CBS Sports, 27 worldwide outlets in 152 countries carry either live, tape-delayed or extensive highlight packages of each CART Champ Car event. The outlets are combining to carry a per-event average of 64 hours of worldwide race and qualifying coverage.
To date, the March 23 Tecate/Telmex Grand Prix of Monterrey Presented by Herdez has been the most-watched race of the year, drawing a reported 10,414,469 viewers across the globe. The numbers are reported in terms of viewers by many foreign broadcasters and the household numbers usually reported by U.S.-based outlets have been converted to viewers for the purpose of comparison.
“These television numbers are very encouraging and back up our message to teams, sponsors and partners that we provide a unique marketing opportunity for companies around the world,” said CART President and CEO Christopher R. Pook. “But we must continue to build on these numbers and increase our coverage. The numbers show that the demand is there for our series and we plan to build on this solid foundation to consistently deliver our series message to a worldwide audience.”
Brazil viewership has consistently been the strongest of any nation through the first five races with Rede TV numbers averaging 2.85 million peak-hour viewers per event. Latin America, through Fox Sports International and ESPN International’s coverage on RPM Semanal has been a strong region as has South Korea with SBS Sports, Australia with Network 10 and Mexico with TV Azteca. Eurosport broadcast numbers for the events in Brands Hatch and EuroSpeedway are yet to be reported, but the European network did report nearly a half-million viewers for the Round 3 Champ Car event in Long Beach.
Stateside, CBS Sports has drawn an increased audience in its first three broadcasts of the year, with the German 500 broadcast on May 11 drawing over a million households – which equates to a season-high 1.3 million viewers. CBS Sports will broadcast five more Champ Car events during the 2003 season, showing upcoming races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Portland, Cleveland, Toronto and Miami.
The next Champ Car World Series event will take place with the historic The Milwaukee Mile Centennial 250 Presented by Miller Lite where the open-wheel series will run at night on the 1.032-mile oval for the first time ever. Live qualifying coverage on Friday, May 30 begins on SPEED Channel at 9:30 p.m. Eastern Time with Saturday night’s live race coverage on SPEED Channel beginning at 9 p.m. Eastern.