Indy 500 pact extended to ’18

One of sports television’s most historic relationships has been extended.

The Indianapolis 500 has aired on ABC every year since 1965 and will continue to do so through 2018 as the result of a new, six-year agreement between ESPN, ABC, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and INDYCAR.

The relationship is one of the longest-running between a TV network and a sporting event and will pass the 50-year mark during the new agreement.

ABC also will televise the 100th running of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” in 2016.

As part of the new agreement, ABC will be the exclusive broadcast network partner for the IZOD IndyCar Series from 2013-2018 and will continue to televise four races each year in addition to the Indianapolis 500.

The worldwide presence of the Indianapolis 500 and the series on television will continue as ESPN also has international syndication rights for all IZOD IndyCar Series races.

This past May, ESPN’s production of the Indianapolis 500 telecast used 64 high definition cameras, a satellite-activated effects system and more of the most modern television technology available.

Beginning in 2012, ABC’s coverage of the Indianapolis 500 and the IZOD IndyCar Series will be expanded to include live streaming of ABC’s onboard cameras on ESPN3.com, ESPN’s signature broadband sports network.

The streaming of the onboard cameras also will be available to ESPN3 subscribers via www.indycar.com.

“The Indianapolis 500 and ABC have been together since 1965 and we are very proud to extend the relationship with this new agreement,” said George Bodenheimer, president of ESPN and ABC Sports.

“The 500 is a uniquely American event and a Memorial Day tradition, and we especially look forward to televising the 100th edition of the race in 2016.”

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