IndyCar and its television partners have announced 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series television windows for consistent blocks of network coverage and new race distances at selected events.
Live coverage of all 19 IZOD IndyCar Series events—including ABC’s first prime-time race and three doubleheaders (one on ABC and two on NBC Sports Network)—highlight the ABC and NBC Sports Network programming schedule. Race distances also were altered at four events to discourage fuel-mileage racing.
NBC Sports Network will televise the first four races of the season and kicks off with live coverage of the three rounds of qualifications for the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg at 2:30 p.m. (ET) March 23. The network will broadcast the ninth IZOD IndyCar Series race on the scenic 1.8-mile temporary street circuit at noon (ET) March 24, which includes a 30-minute pre-race show.
ABC begins its stretch of broadcasting six of the next seven races with the Indianapolis 500 at 11 a.m. (ET) May 26. ABC will televise the 500 Mile Race for the 49th consecutive year, extending one of the longest relationships between a sporting event and television network.
Television time continuity, including starts near the top or bottom of the hour and same on-air times for the first two doubleheader weekends, was built into programming schedules based in part from fan requests.
Qualifications shows for 12 events, including Pole Day and Bump Day for the 97th Indianapolis 500, plus Carb Day activities and race re-airs enhance coverage of the series on NBC Sports Network. The cable partner will continue to air the popular “INDYCAR 36,” which follows a driver behind the scenes during an IZOD IndyCar Series race weekend. The full schedule for ancillary programming will be announced at a later date.
All 12 Firestone Indy Lights races will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network, including live coverage of the Firestone Freedom 100 at noon (ET) May 24 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Eight races will lead into the cable partner’s IZOD IndyCar Series broadcast, including the season opener at 11 a.m. (ET) March 24 on the streets of St. Petersburg.
International broadcast partners will be announced soon.
Meantime, four events—St. Petersburg, Long Beach, Milwaukee and Mid-Ohio—will feature new race distances this season to discourage fuel-mileage racing. The new distances better match traditional fuel windows at each circuit.
The races with new distances:
St. Petersburg: Increase of 10 laps to 110 (198 miles total)
Long Beach: Decrease of five laps to 80 (157.4 miles)
Milwaukee: Increase of 25 laps to 250 (250 miles)
Mid-Ohio: Increase of five laps to 90 (203 miles)
For more information, visit www.indycar.com.