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Indy on TV

Screenshot �80 ABC SPORTS Screenshot �82 ABC SPORTS Screenshot �87 ABC SPORTS Screenshot �90 ABC SPORTS Screenshot �92 ABC SPORTS Screenshot �95 ABC SPORTS Screenshot �98 ABC SPORTS


Note: All television ratings information � 1972-2008 Nielsen Media Research, Inc. The Information contained herein is the copyrighted property of Nielsen Media Research, Inc. Unauthorized use of this copyrighted material is expressly prohibited. All Rights Reserved. The ratings information contained in this page is for informational purposes only, and should not be misued. It is copyrighted and should not be used without proper reference. It is posted here for educational/informational purposes under the Fair Use Doctrine regarding informational use and critical commentary. You may link to this page, but do not cut and paste ratings information. One rating point represents approximately 1% of the television households in the United States, based on the year the program was televised. The share is the percentage of televisions in use actually tuned in to the program. Nielson annually adjusts the total television households accordingly such that individual years are sometimes only loosely comparable.

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Television Voices of the Indy 500

Charlie Brockman (1965): ABC debuted its Indianapolis 500 race coverage in 1965 with announcer Charlie Brockman reporting. Brockman narrated the highlighted coverage. Brockman had previously anchored the MCA closed-circuit television broadcasts of the race.

Chris Schenkel (1966): ABC's second year of race coverage was reported by announcer Chris Schenkel. In subsequent years, Schenkel would return to the Indy 500 on ABC, serving as host of the broadcast several times. In 1971, while serving as host, Schenkel rode in the pace car before the race. Fellow passengers Tony Hulman and John Glenn experienced near tragedy, however, as driver Eldon Palmer crashed the pace car into a photographers' stand at the end of the pit road. Schenkel was uninjured, but declined to participate in the remainder of the broadcast that day.

Screenshot �80 ABC SPORTS Jim McKay (1967-1974, 1976-1985): Legendary broadcaster Jim McKay anchored the Indy 500 broadcasts for many years. McKay began as a reporter for numerous ABC broadcasts such as Wide World of Sports, but was thrust into the limelight after his now-famous reporting during the 1972 Munich Olympics terrorist massacre. All of the years that McKay called the Indy 500 were tape-delayed broadcasts. McKay coinced such famous phrases as "and they're racing at Indianapolis!" and "It's all over!" McKay continued calling the race until 1985. In 1986, the raced moved to a live telecast, and McKay was moved to the host position. He held that post for two years. When Paul Page joined ABC in 1988, he served as both host and play-by-play. Inching towards retirement, McKay was permanently removed from the Indy 500 telecasts. In 2004, McKay returned for a special retrospect celebrating ABC's 40th year at Indy. His final work on an Indy broadcast came in 2005, when he did a special segment about Sam Schmidt. McKay passed away on June 7, 2008.


Keith Jackson (1975): Legendary ABC announcer Keith Jackson called the 1975 tape-delayed race. Better-known for his work on college football and ABC's Monday Night Football, Jackson had previously worked at Indy as a pit reporter, and also called several auto races, including the NASCAR Daytona 500 and Firecracker 400. Jackson was on-hand to call Tom Sneva's imfamous turn two crash that day at Indy, and Bobby Unser's victory in the pouring rain. Jackson had been calling all the of the races that year with Jackie Stewart. He was named to replace Jim McKay for a while, in an effort to change the angle of the broadcast. McKay had also still been agonizing from the tragic 1973 race, and personally needed some time away from the track. McKay would return to Indy the following year in 1976.


Screenshot �87 ABC SPORTS Jim Lampley (1986-1987): When ABC moved the Indy 500 from a tape delay to a live broadcast, network producers decided a change was needed for the play-by-play announcer. ABC Sports president Roone Arledge was very favorable of Jim Lampley, who had been with the network since 1974. Lampley was expected to rise to the top echelon of ABC Sports, and be their chief anchor. He had experience in many sports, including boxing and baseball. Lampley had previously called several NASCAR races on ABC, including the Firecracker 400 at Daytona. He had also worked as a pit reporter for the Indy 500 on ABC in 1983 and 1985. Shortly after the 1987 Indy 500, Arlege was replaced by Dennis Swanson, who held a less favorable opinion of Lampley. Lampley promptly left ABC in late 1987 for CBS and HBO. Lampley would not return to auto racing broadcasts until surfacing as the announcer for the 1994 CART Toronto Grand Prix on NBC.


Screenshot �92 ABC SPORTS Paul Page (1988-1998, 2002-2004): After Lampley's departure, the chief anchor position for the Indy 500, and other races on ABC, was vacant. ABC decided the role would be best filled by a veteran racing broadcaster. Paul Page, who had been the chief anchor for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network from 1977-1987, as well as auto racing on NBC since 1979, was hired full-time at ABC Sports. Page would act as host and play-by-play for various auto racing telecasts on ABC and ESPN. He was the main anchor for the CART series, as well as the IRL when it began in 1996. For a few years, ABC and ESPN carried both CART and IRL events, and Page worked both. From 1999-2001, Page was moved exclusively to CART broadcasts. he was replaced in the IRL booth with Bob Jenkins. By 2002, ABC and ESPN no longer carried CART races, and Page was moved back to calling the IRL and the Indy 500. Page's final Indy 500 would be 2004. Starting in late 2004, Page was redeployed to various other work on ESPN, including the X-Games, NHRA drag racing, and the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating contest on July 4th.


Screenshot �03 ABC SPORTS Bob Jenkins (1999-2001): In 1999, ABC moved chief anchor Paul Page to the CART series, and promoted Bob Jenkins to anchor of IRL and Indy 500 telecasts. Jenkins worked at ESPN since it debuted in 1979, and for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network since 1979. Jenkins was the chief announcer for the radio broadcast of the Indy 500 from 1990-1998. He anchored NASCAR and Indycar broadcasts on ESPN and ABC, including the Brickyard 400. He was the obvious choice to fill the announcer seat, and did so for three years. When Paul Page returned, Jenkins was moved to the host position. He left ABC after 2003, and after a short stint at Spike TV, he began work for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the public address system, and as host and emcee for various functions. He worked for a short time on SPEED TV, and also started a radio program.


Screenshot �05 ABC SPORTS Todd Harris (2005): In an effort to make positive changes to the ratings-slumped telecasts, ABC promoted Todd Harris to the anchor position. Harris previously worked as a pit reporter, and an announcer for ESPN on various programs. Paul Page had been redeployed to various telecasts on ESPN and ESPN2. After a full season on the Indy Racing League broadcasting team, it was apparent Harris did not fit the position well, and was not popular with viewers. Prior to the conclusion of the 2005 IRL season, rumors had already surfaced that Harris was not returning in 2006.


Screenshot �06 ABC SPORTS Marty Reid (2006-2007): On January 25, 2006, ABC and ESPN announced their new announcing crew for the Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar Series. Veteran motorsports broadcaster Marty Reid, who had been with ESPN since 1982, was promoted to announcer, along with the returning Scott Goodyear and recently retired NASCAR driver Rusty Wallace, as analysts. Reid spent several years on ESPN telecasts in the 1980s and 1990s, and had been hosting NHRA drag racing broadcasts for four seasons. Wallace, who retired from the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series after the 2005 season, signed on to ABC/ESPN as analyst for auto racing, as ABC and ESPN was slated to resume coverage of NASCAR in 2007. In early 2007, it was announced that Reid would return as announcer of the IndyCar Series, and Wallace, now working television full-time in NASCAR, would join Reid and Goodyear for an Indy-only appearance.


History of the Indianapolis 500 on Television

1965

Race Date: Monday May 31
Broadcast Date: Saturday June 5
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 5:00 PM EDT
Length: 1 hour
Format: Wide World of Sports

Announcer: Charlie Brockman
Screenshot �65 ABC SPORTS ABC broadcasted from the Indianapolis 500 for the first time on race day on "Wide World of Sports." The black-and-white broadcast, which featured video and film footage, was shown taped and edited. The race had been held the previous Monday. For the next five years, the race would continue to be recorded, edited, and televised on "ABC's Wide World of Sports" on a Saturday about one or two weeks following the race. ABC Sports announcer Charlie Brockman reported from the race in 1965. The episode of "Wide World of Sports" which carried the 1965 Indy 500 was intermixed with another feature, Jim McKay and Johnny Johnston reporting from the World Pocket Billiards Championship match from New York.

1966

Race Date: Monday May 30
Broadcast Date: June
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 5:00 PM EDT
Length: 1 hour
Format: Wide World of Sports

Announcer: Chris Schenkle
Screenshot �66 ABC SPORTS ABC's "Wide World of Sports" broadcasted the race for the second time. ABC's Chris Schenkle reported from the race. The episode of Wide World of Sports that carried the 1966 Indy 500 was intermixed with Jim McKay and Muriel Grossfield also reporting from the National AAU Gymnastics Championship from Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

1967

Race Date: Tuesday May 30 (start)
Race Date: Wednesday May 31 (finish)
Broadcast Date: Saturday June 10
Network: ABC
Format: Wide World of Sports

Announcer: Jim McKay
Analyst: Rodger Ward
Screenshot �67 ABC SPORTS "Wide World of Sports" broadcasted the race for the first time in color. The race was held over two days, May 30-31. Legendary broadcaster Jim McKay called his first race for ABC, and would appear on "500" telecasts until 1987. Two-time Indy 500 winner Rodger Ward served as analyst. A.J. Foyt, the 1967 winner, was also shown on "WWOS" three weeks later winning the 24 Hours of LeMans.

1968

Race Date: Thursday May 30
Broadcast Date: Saturday June 15
Network: ABC
Format: Wide World of Sports

Announcer: Jim McKay
Analyst: Rodger Ward
Screenshot �68 ABC SPORTS ABC's "Wide World of Sports" broadcast featured the first use of a wireless hand-held color camera for close-up shots. The broadcast, likely slated for June 8, was pre-empted that week due to the funeral of Senator Robert Kennedy. The race had been held May 30.

1969

Race Date: Friday May 30
Broadcast Date: Saturday June 7
Network: ABC
Format: Wide World of Sports

Announcer: Jim McKay
Analyst: Rodger Ward
Pits: Chris Economaki
Screenshot �69 ABC SPORTS The coverage featured video and film footage.

1970

Race Date: Saturday May 30
Broadcast Date: Saturday June 6
Network: ABC
Format: Wide World of Sports

Announcer: Jim McKay
Analyst: Chris Economaki
Screenshot �70 ABC SPORTS ABC's final telecast of the Indianapolis 500 on Wide World of Sports.

1971

Date: Saturday May 29
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 8:30 PM EDT
Length: 2 hrs., 30 mins.
Format: Same-Day Tape Delay

Host: Chris Schenkle
Announcer: Jim McKay
Analyst: Jackie Stewart
Pits: Chris Economaki
Pits: Bill Flemming
Pits: Keith Jackson
Turn Reports: David Letterman
Executive Producer: Roone Arledge
Screenshot �71 ABC SPORTS The race was recorded, edited, and televised same-day tape in prime-time for the first time on ABC. This format would continue through 1985. This early telecast fit in a two-hour, Saturday evening time slot, and was billed as an "Exclusive Presentation of ABC Sports." Jim McKay continued as commentator on the new format. Extensive use of the process screen was visible, along with adavanced graphics for the time. ABC reporter Chris Schenkle was riding in the pace car at the start, along with Speedway president Tony Hulman, and John Glenn. When entering the pits, Eldon Palmer, who was driving the pace car, lost control and crashed into a photography stnad and the south end of the pit area. Schenkle was shook up, but not injured seriously. He would sit out the remainder of the broadcast.
Screenshot �71 ABC SPORTS

1972

Date: Saturday May 27
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 8:30 PM EDT
Length: 2 hrs., 30 mins.
Format: Same-Day Tape Delay

Host: Chris Schenkle
Announcer: Jim McKay
Analyst: Jackie Stewart
Pits: Chris Economaki
Executive Producer: Roone Arledge
Screenshot �72 ABC SPORTS The race was held on Saturday, and televised later that evening at 9 PM. ABC's Wide World of Sports, which went on air at 5 PM, featured an update of the start of the race.
 

1973

Date: Monday May 28
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 9:00 PM EDT
Length: Pre-Empted

Date: Wednesday May 30
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 8:00 PM EDT
Length: 2 hrs.
Rat./Shr. (Prime Time): 16.5/30
Audience (Prime Time): 17 million
Format: Same-Day Tape Delay

Host: Chris Schenkle
Announcer: Jim McKay
Analyst: Jackie Stewart
Pits: Chris Economaki
Pits: Dave Diles
Executive Producer: Roone Arledge
Screenshot �73 ABC SPORTS ABC televised the "500" Festival Parade on Sunday May 27. Following the parade coverage, ABC televised a special documentary titled "The Racers." Drivers Mario Andretti, Joe Leonard, and Al Unser were followed and documented throughout the 1972 season, and up to preparations for the '73 race. The 1973 race was scheduled for Monday May 28th, and to be broadcast that night at 9 PM EDT. However, rain delayed the start, which was marred by a major crash involving Salt Walther. Rain continued, and delayed the race until the next day. ABC did not show any footage Monday night, and showed a movie instead. The race was rescheduled to run Tuesday, but ABC did not plan to show any footage Tuesday night. However, the race was rained out a second time, and rescheduled for Wednesday. ABC planned, weather permitting, to pre-empt their normal schedule and show the race Wednesday night. The race was run Wednesday, and ABC televised a two hour same-day tape coverage Wednesday evening at 8 PM EDT. The 1973 race telecast was one of the first to feature a presenting sponsor. The broadcast was billed as "Goodyear Presents the Indianapolis 500 Race."
Screenshot �73 ABC SPORTS

1974

Date: Sunday May 26
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 9:00 PM EDT
Length: 2 hrs.
Rat./Shr. (Prime Time): 16.4/31
Format: Same-Day Tape Delay

Host: Chris Schenkle
Announcer: Jim McKay
Analyst: Sam Posey
Pits: Chris Economaki
Pits: Bill Flemming
Executive Producer: Roone Arledge
Screenshot �74 ABC SPORTS The Indianapolis 500 was moved to the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. ABC continued their same-day tape coverage, and began broadcasting the race Sunday evenings.
 

1975

Date: Sunday May 25
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 9:00 PM EDT
Length: 2 hrs.
Rat./Shr. (Prime Time): 14.9/30
Format: Same-Day Tape Delay

Announcer: Keith Jackson
Analyst: Jackie Stewart
Pits: Sam Posey
Executive Producer: Roone Arledge
Screenshot �75 ABC SPORTS Jim McKay took a one-year sabatical from auto racing so ABC veteran Keith Jackson took over as announcer. He along with Jackie Stewart called Bobby Unser's rain-shorten victory.
Screenshot �75 ABC SPORTS

1976

Date: Sunday May 30
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 9:00 PM EDT
Length: 2 hrs., 10 mins.
Rat./Shr. (Prime Time): 17.9/34
Format: Same-Day Tape Delay

Announcer: Jim McKay
Analyst: Jackie Stewart
Pits: Chris Economaki
Executive Producer: Roone Arledge
Screenshot �76 ABC SPORTS Jim McKay returned as announcer, and called the rain-shortend race won by Johnny Rutherford.
 

1977

Date: Sunday May 29
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 9:00 PM EDT
Length: 2 hrs., 10 mins.
Rat./Shr. (Prime Time): 15.6/32
Format: Same-Day Tape Delay

Host: Chris Schenkle
Announcer: Jim McKay
Analyst: Jackie Stewart
Pits: Chris Economaki
Pits: Bill Flemming
Executive Producer: Roone Arledge
Producer: Chuck Howard
Director: Chet Forte
Director: Larry Kamm
Screenshot �77 ABC SPORTS In the midst of a technicians' strike, ABC broadcasted A.J. Foyt's historic fourth Indy victory.
Screenshot �77 ABC SPORTS

1978

Date: Sunday May 28
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 9:00 PM EDT
Length: 2 hrs., 10 mins.
Rat./Shr. (Prime Time): 13.4/26
Format: Same-Day Tape Delay

Host: Chris Schenkle
Announcer: Jim McKay
Analyst: Jackie Stewart
Pits: Chris Economaki
Pits: Bill Flemming
Executive Producer: Roone Arledge
Producer: Chuck Howard
Producer: Bob Goodrich
Director: Chet Forte
Director: Roger Goodman
Screenshot �78 ABC SPORTS The broadcast was billed as an "Exclusive Presentation of ABC Sports." The broadcast had expanded to two hours and ten minutes. The first ten minutes featured an introduction, and the singing of "Back Home Again in Indiana."
Screenshot �78 ABC SPORTS

1979

Date: Sunday May 27
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 9:00 PM EDT
Length: 2 hrs., 10 mins.
Rat./Shr. (Prime Time): 13.5/24
Format: Same-Day Tape Delay

Host: Chris Schenkle
Announcer: Jim McKay
Analyst: Jackie Stewart
Pits: Chris Economaki
Pits: Dave Diles
Executive Producer: Roone Arledge
Producer: Chuck Howard
Producer: Bob Goodrich
Director: Chet Forte
Director: Roger Goodman
Screenshot �79 ABC SPORTS The broadcast was billed as an "ABC Sports Exclusive." ABC analyst Jackie Stewart was selected to drive the pace car at the start of the race. Stewart reported live while driving the Ford Mustang pace car.
Screenshot �79 ABC SPORTS

1980

Date: Sunday May 25
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 9:00 PM EDT
Length: 3 hrs.
Rat./Shr. (Prime Time): 13.8/27
Format: Same-Day Tape Delay

Host: Chris Schenkle
Announcer: Jim McKay
Analyst: Jackie Stewart
Pits: Chris Economaki
Pits: Sam Posey
Pits: Dave Diles
Executive Producer: Roone Arledge
Producer: Chuck Howard
Producer: Bob Goodrich
Director: Chet Forte
Director: Roger Goodman
Screenshot �80 ABC SPORTS The broadcast was billed as an "ABC Sports Exclusive." The broadcast was expanded to three hours, when it had previously been two.
Screenshot �80 ABC SPORTS

1981

Date: Sunday May 24
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 9:00 PM EDT
Length: 3 hrs.
Rat./Shr. (Prime Time): 12.8/24
Format: Same-Day Tape Delay

Host: Dave Diles
Announcer: Jim McKay
Analyst: Jackie Stewart
Pits: Chris Economaki
Garages/Hospital: Sam Posey
Executive Producer: Roone Arledge
Producer: Chuck Howard
Producer: Bob Goodrich
Director: Chet Forte
Director: Roger Goodman
Screenshot �81 ABC SPORTS The broadcast was billed as an "ABC Sports Exclusive." Roving reporter Sam Posey rode in and reported from the pace car at the start. Mid-way through the race, a controversey arose where Bobby Unser and Mario Andretti passed cars exiting the pits under the yellow. Jim McKay and Jackie Stewart reported the infraction. The following morning, Mario Andretti was declared the winner after a penalty was assesed to Unser. That night, Monday, ABC's Nightline broadcast live from the Victory Banquet, and discussed the controversial nature of the race.
Screenshot �81 ABC SPORTS

1982

Date: Sunday May 30
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 9:00 PM EDT
Length: 3 hrs.
Rat./Shr. (Prime Time): 12.5/25
Format: Same-Day Tape Delay

Announcer: Jim McKay
Analyst: Sam Posey
Pits: Bill Flemming
Pits: Chris Economaki
Features: Jack Whittaker
ABC Race Central: Jackie Stewart
Executive Producer: Roone Arledge
Producer: Bob Goodrich
Producer: Mike Pearl
Director: Larry Kamm
Director: Roger Goodman
Screenshot �82 ABC SPORTS The broadcast was billed as a "Presentation of ABC Sports." Producer Mike Pearl would receive an sports Emmy award for his efforts in the telecast. For the first time, the finish was shown from a camera on top of the Tower Terrace grandstand inside the track. Previously the finish was normally shown from a camera in turn one. The exciting close finish between Gordon Johncock and Rick Mears prompted the directors to show the finish differently.
Screenshot �82 ABC SPORTS

1983

Date: Sunday May 29
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 9:00 PM EDT
Length: 3 hrs.
Rat./Shr. (Prime Time): 14.1/27
Format: Same-Day Tape Delay

Announcer: Jim McKay
Analyst: Sam Posey
Pits: Chris Economaki
Pits: Bill Flemming
Garages/Hospital: Jim Lampley
Features: Anne Simon
ABC Race Central: Jackie Stewart
Executive Producer: Roone Arledge
Screenshot �83 ABC SPORTS ABC utilized an on-board camera for the first time, on the car of Al Unser, Sr.
Screenshot �83 ABC SPORTS

1984

Date: Sunday May 27
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 9:00 PM EDT
Length: 3 hrs.
Rat./Shr. (Prime Time): 12.9/25
Format: Same-Day Tape Delay

Announcer: Jim McKay
Analyst: Sam Posey
Pits: Bill Flemming
Pits: Jack Arute
Pits: Larry Nuber
Features: Ray Gandolf
ABC Race Central: Jackie Stewart
Executive Producer: Roone Arledge
Producer: Bob Goodrich
Producer: Ben Harvey
Director: Larry Kamm
Director: Roger Goodman
Screenshot �84 ABC SPORTS The broadcast was billed as a "Presentation of ABC Sports." For the first time, a new camera was placed above the starter's stand, over the shoulder of the flagman. The shot was used at the start of the race to view the dropping of the green flag. Previously the camera angle from turn one was used at the start. At the end of the broadcast, Jim McKay interviewed winner Rick Mears live in front of the scoring pylon illuminated in the night sky. Rain, which had been threatening the finish of the race, was falling during the interview. For the first time, ABC's computerized graphics featured the unique annual logo used by that year's race.
 

1985

Date: Sunday May 26
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 9:00 PM EDT
Length: 3 hrs.
Rat./Shr. (Prime Time): 9.7/18
Format: Same-Day Tape Delay

Announcer: Jim McKay
Analyst: Sam Posey
Pits: Jack Arute
Pits: Jim Lampley
Pits: Bill Flemming
Executive Producer: Roone Arledge
Producer: Bob Goodrich
Producer: Mike Pearl
Director: Larry Kamm
Director: Roger Goodman
Screenshot �85 ABC SPORTS The broadcast was billed as a "Presentation of ABC Sports." This would be the final tape-delayed broadcast of the "500." The three hour broadcast signed on at 9 PM EDT, and signed off at midnight EDT. ABC's computerized graphics had expanded to the opening credits, and included the race's unique annual logo.
Screenshot �85 ABC SPORTS

1986

Date: Sunday May 25
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 11:00 AM EDT
Length: 4 hrs., 30 mins.
Rat./Shr. (Rain): 6.6
Format: Live (Rainout)

Date: Saturday May 31
Length: 4 hrs., 30 mins.
Format: Live Flag-to-Flag
Rat./Shr. (Final): 8.8/31

Host: Jim McKay
Announcer: Jim Lampley
Analyst: Sam Posey
Pits: Jack Arute
Pits: Larry Number
Pits: Al Trautwig
Hospital: Dr. Joe Randolph
Interviews: Donna DeVarona
Producer: Chuck Howard
Director: Larry Kamm
Screenshot �86 ABC SPORTS The entire race was televised live flag-to-flag on network television for the first time. The broadcast was billed as a "Presentation of ABC Sports." Longtime commentator Jim McKay was moved to the host position, and Jim Lampley was brought in as announcer. When ABC signed on to the landmark telecast on Sunday May 25, they were met with rain. The race was postponed until the next day. The remainder of May 25 broadcast featured talk, interviews, and highlights of previous races. On Monday morning, ABC came on-air with an update, only to inform viewers that it was still raining, and the race was postponed again. After a mid-afternoon, closed-door meeting between Speedway and network officials, the race was rescheduled for Saturday May 31. This decision would allow fans to return, and would also allow ABC to pre-empt previously scheduled programming to show the race live flag-to-flag, as intended. The race has been shown live every year since. The broadcast featured new graphics, including an animiated version of the race's unique annual logo. Three on-board "race cams" were also used, which had not been the year before. McKay opened the broadcast in the booth. During the pre-race ceremonies, the Invocation was not shown.

Screenshot �86 ABC SPORTS

1987

Date: Sunday May 24
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 11:00 AM EDT
Length: 4 hrs., 30 mins.
Format: Live Flag-to-Flag
Rat./Shr. (Final): 11.0/36

Host: Jim McKay
Announcer: Jim Lampley
Analyst: Sam Posey
Analyst: Bobby Unser
Pits: Jack Arute
Pits: Al Trautwig
Pits: Jerry Gappens
Producer: Bob Goodrich
Producer: Ken Wolfe
Director: Larry Kamm
Director: Roger Goodman
Screenshot �87 ABC SPORTS The broadcast was billed as an "ABC Sports Exclusive." Host Jim McKay's opening commentary script of the ABC telecast would earn him an Emmy Award. He opened the broadcast on the starting grid. The producers were Bob Goodrich and Ken Wolfe. The directors were Larry Kamm and Roger Goodman. Three-time Indy 500 winner Bobby Unser was added to the broadcast as an analyst. The unique annual logo from the 1986 race was used, with the previous year's reference removed.
Screenshot �87 ABC SPORTS

1988

Date: Sunday May 29
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 11:00 AM EDT
Length: 4 hrs., 30 mins.
Format: Live Flag-to-Flag
Rat./Shr. (Final): 8.5/29

Announcer: Paul Page
Analyst: Sam Posey
Analyst: Bobby Unser
Pits: Jack Arute
Pits: Brian Hammons
Executive Producer: Geoffrey Mason
Producer: Bob Goodrich
Producer: Ben Harvey
Director: Don Ohlmeyer
Director: Roger Goodman
Screenshot �88 ABC SPORTS Jim Lampley had left ABC in the fall of 1987, and was replaced on the broadcast with veteran Paul Page. The new executive producer of ABC Sports was now Geoffrey Mason. The producers were Bob Goodrich and Ben Harvey. The directors were Don Ohlmeyer Roger Goodman. A new style was introduced for the telecast, as it reflected Ohlmeyers' influence. For the first time, the opening featured the theme music from the movie Delta Force, which would become a Indy fixture for about a decade. The song "Katydid's Ditty" by Mason Williams was also featured in the opening. The broadcast was viewed more as a racing telecast rather than an event, and new animated graphics were used throughout. After it was introduced four years earlier, the camera located above the shoulder of the flagman was used both at the start and the finish. It allowed the viewer to see the dropping of the checkered flag, but ironically, seldom would allow the viewer to see the winner cross the finish line. A few years later, the practice would be scutinized, and abandoned. For the first time since going to a live broadcast, the directors went to commercial after the dropping of the checkered flag, and viewers did not see winner Rick Mears pull into victory lane live. The broadcast returned from break with Mears already out of the car, accepting his congratulations. Minutes later, a replay of Mears climbing out of his car was shown. Later in 1988, ABC, along with CBS Video, produced a highlight home video, Live and Drive the Indy 500, celebrating three decades of ABC covering Indy events.
Screenshot �88 ABC SPORTS

1989

Date: Sunday May 28
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 11:00 AM EDT
Length: 4 hrs., 30 mins.
Format: Live Flag-to-Flag
Rat./Shr. (Final): 7.8/28

Announcer: Paul Page
Analyst: Sam Posey
Analyst: Bobby Unser
Pits: Jack Arute
Pits: Brian Hammons
Pits: Dr. Jerry Punch
Executive Producer: Geoffrey Mason
Producer: Bob Goodrich
Director: Don Ohlmeyer
Screenshot �89 ABC SPORTS The telecast opened again with the "Delta Force" them, and saw Paul Page open from the starting grid. The broadcast was billed as a "Presentation of ABC Sports." At the start, ABC analyst Bobby Unser reported live while driving the pace car. After the late-race crash of Al Unser, Jr. the broadcast ran slightly late as ABC desired to interview Unser, Jr. live before signing off. The reporters had to wait until Unser was released from the infield hospital. In addition, due to the exciting nature of the finish, there was no commercial break after the checkered flag. For the first time possibly in the history of televising the race, the technical credits were not shown at the end of the broadcast. For yet another time, the 1986 unique annual logo was used for graphics. ABC's 1989 Indy 500 telecast would earn the Emmy Award for best Live Sports Special.
Screenshot �89 ABC SPORTS

1990

Date: Sunday May 27
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 11:00 AM EDT
Length: 4 hrs., 30 mins.
Format: Live Flag-to-Flag
Rat./Shr. (Final): 7.8/26

Announcer: Paul Page
Analyst: Sam Posey
Analyst: Bobby Unser
Pits: Jack Arute
Pits: Dr. Jerry Punch
Pits: Gary Gerould
Executive Producer: Geoffrey Mason
Producer: Bob Goodrich
Producer: Ned Simon
Director: Don Ohlmeyer
Director: Roger Goodman
Screenshot �90 ABC SPORTS ABC broadcasted the race in stereo for the first time. The broadcast was billed as a "Presentation of ABC Sports." The executive producer was Geoffrey Mason. The producers were Bob Goodrich and Ned Simon. The directors were Don Ohlmeyer and Roger Goodman. and saw Paul Page open from the roof of the Paddock Penthouse grandstand, where ABC's four-year old booth was located. The race was the fastest "500" ever run, won by Arie Luyendyk. Incidental to the broadcast were the fact that cameras completely missed Luyendyk cross the finish line, opting for the starter's stand view, and once again, chosing to go to commercial immediately after the winner crossed the finish line. Due to this, viewers never saw Luyendyk pull into victory lane, nor climb out of his car. A replay was not shown. Due to the quickness of the race, considerable filler time was necessary. Highlights from the annual pit stop contest, held the previous Thursday, were shown, along with extensive interviews. A tape-delay telecast of the IROC event at Talladega followed. ABC's 1990 Indy 500 telecast would earn the Emmy Award for Best Sports Special, the second consecutive year that honor was awarded.
Screenshot �90 ABC SPORTS

1991

Date: Sunday May 26
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 11:00 AM EDT
Length: 5 hrs., 15 mins.
Format: Live Flag-to-Flag
Rat./Shr. (Final): 8.0/27

Announcer: Paul Page
Analyst: Sam Posey
Analyst: Bobby Unser
Pits: Jack Arute
Pits: Dr. Jerry Punch
Pits: Gary Gerould
Essayist: Jack Whittaker
Producer: Bob Goodrich
Director: Don Ohlmeyer
Screenshot �91 ABC SPORTS The broadcast was billed as a "Presentation of ABC Sports." Extensive use of the race's unique annual logo, celebrating the 75th running of the "500" was featured throughout the broadcast. Rain delayed the start by 55 minutes, and the opening hour was filled with interviews, highlights, and special features. At the finish, the over-the-shoulder camera on the flagstand was not used, and the traditional camera from turn one saw winner Rick Mears cross the finish line. After the finish, a commercial break followed the checkered flag, and viewers did not see Mears pull into victory lane. He was however, still climbing out of his car when they returned from commercial. Later in the broadcast, a replay was shown of Mears returning to the pits from his on-board camera. Mears was the first winner to carry a race cam. The technical credits were not shown, and the exteneded broadcast was 5 hours and 15 minutes.
 

1992

Date: Sunday May 24
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 11:00 AM EDT
Length: 5 hrs.
Format: Live Flag-to-Flag
Rat./Shr. (Final w/ pre-race): 9.8/31
Rat./Shr. (Final, race only): 10.9/33
Rat./Shr. (Final, last two hours): 11.8/34

Announcer: Paul Page
Analyst: Sam Posey
Analyst: Bobby Unser
Pits: Jack Arute
Pits: Dr. Jerry Punch
Pits: Gary Gerould
Producer: Bob Goodrich
Director: Don Ohlmeyer
Screenshot �92 ABC SPORTS The broadcast opening again featured the Delta Force theme, and Paul Page opened as host, standing directly in front of the scoring pylon. The broadcast was billed as a "Special Presentation of ABC Sports." At the start, ABC analyst Bobby Unser reported live while driving the pace car. A long race saw the broadcast extend to five hours, and the technical credits were not shown. The use of the camera over the shoulder of the flagman became the target of complaint. Directors cut the camera as winner Al Unser, Jr. crossed the line with Scott Goodyear in the closest finish in Indy history. Viewers were not able to see how close the finish was, much less see who won, until a replay was shown. Future broadcasts would no longer that view at the finish. For the first time since 1989, directors did not cut to commercial immediately after the finish. The exciting finish, along with a late-race caution, took away the need for one. Local affiliate WRTV-6 in Indianapolis teamed up with ABC to shown the race same-day tape delayed in its entirety for the first time in the greater Indianapolis area.
Screenshot �92 ABC SPORTS

1993

Date: Sunday May 30
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 11:00 AM EDT
Length: 4 hrs., 30 mins.
Format: Live Flag-to-Flag
Rat./Shr. (Final w/ pre-race): 8.5/29
Rat./Shr. (Final race only): 9.3/30

Announcer: Paul Page
Analyst: Sam Posey
Turn 2: Bobby Unser
Pits: Jack Arute
Pits: Dr. Jerry Punch
Pits: Gary Gerould
Executive Producer: Jack O'Harra
Producer: Bob Goodrich
Director: Don Ohlmeyer
Screenshot �93 ABC SPORTS The broadcast opening again featured the Delta Force theme, and Paul Page opened as host, standing directly in front of the scoring pylon for the second time. The broadcast was billed as a "Special Presentation of ABC Sports." The executive producer was Jack O'Hara. The producer was Bob Goodrich, and the director was Don Ohlmeyer. At the finish, a new camera angle was intoduced to show the winner crossing the finish line. Winner Emerson Fittipaldi was shown from a camera on the Tower Terrace grandstand inside of the track, the same angle used for the 1982 finish. After returning from commercial, Fittipaldi was still climbing out his car. Speedway President Tony George was shown presenting the winner's wreath, followed by Fittipaldi dubiously drinking orange juice rather than the traditional milk. After television had gone off-air, however, Fittipaldi did take a sip of milk. The technical credits were shown as had been in previous years.
Screenshot �93 ABC SPORTS

1994

Date: Sunday May 29
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 11:00 AM EDT
Length: 4 hrs., 30 mins.
Format: Live Flag-to-Flag
Rat./Shr. (Final w/ pre-race): 8.3/29
Rat./Shr. (Final race only): 9.1/31

Announcer: Paul Page
Analyst: Sam Posey
Turn 2: Bobby Unser
Turn 4: Danny Sullivan
Pits: Jack Arute
Pits: Dr. Jerry Punch
Pits: Gary Gerould
Executive Producer: Jack O'Harra
Producer: Bob Goodrich
Director: Larry Kamm
Screenshot �94 ABC SPORTS The broadcast opening with a tribute to the retiring Mario Andretti featuring the Delta Force theme. A new pylon had been built, and Paul Page opened from the south end of the pit area. The broadcast was billed as a "Special Presentation of ABC Sports." The executive producer was Jack O'Hara. The producer was Bob Goodrich, and the director was Larry Kamm. As the race finished under caution, winner Al Unser, Jr. was shown crossing the finish line from the traditional turn one camera. After a commercial, Unser, Jr. was shown having already climbed out of his car and celebrating in victory lane. Tony George presented the winner's wreath, and at the close of the broadcast, technical credits were shown once again. The telecast of the 1994 Indy 500 was the first to feature a scoring "bug" in the corner of the screen. A transparent digit counted the laps that remained in the race. The technology had been introduced on ABC in March for the telecast of the NASCAR event at Atlanta. The font for the Indy lap graphic was slightly different, however. Also new for the broadcast were new on-board camera angles. A camera was placed on the nose of Bobby Rahal's car, on the rear wing of Michael Andretti's car, and the sidepod of Robby Gordon's car. Gordon's camera recorded an eyecatching duel on the mainstrech between him and Raul Boesel.
Screenshot �94 ABC SPORTS

1995

Date: Sunday May 28
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 11:00 AM EDT
Length: 4 hrs., 30 mins.
Format: Live Flag-to-Flag
Rat./Shr. (Final w/ pre-race): 8.4/26
Rat./Shr. (Final race only): 9.4/28

Announcer: Paul Page
Analyst: Sam Posey
Turn 2: Bobby Unser
Pits: Jack Arute
Pits: Dr. Jerry Punch
Pits: Gary Gerould
Executive Producer: Jack O'Harra
Producer: Bob Goodrich
Screenshot �95 ABC SPORTS For the first time since going to a live broadcast, the telecast was billed as a "Presentation of ABC's Wide World of Sports." ABC had slowly began to advertise all weekend sports broadcasts under the classic name which had previously been used only for the anthology series. For the second year in a row, Paul Page opened from the south end of the pits after the Delta Force themed intro. The finish was shown from the Tower Terrace camera inside of the track. After commercial, winner Jacques Villeneuve was shown already out of his car. After doing so for two years, technical credits were not shown. A week later, during the broadcast of the Indycar race at Milwaukee, an Indy update was featured. A medical update on Stan Fox was given, along with new footage of the pace car incident involving Scott Goodyear. A previously unseen view showed that the yellow was still out when Goodyear accidentally passed the pace car during a late restart.
Screenshot �95 ABC SPORTS

1996

Date: Sunday May 26
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 11:00 AM EDT
Length: 4 hrs., 45 mins.
Format: Live Flag-to-Flag
Rat./Shr. (Final w/ pre-race): 6.6/21
Audience (Final): 6.3 million HH
Rat./Shr. (Final race only): 7.1/23

Announcer: Paul Page
Analyst: Danny Sullivan
Turn 2: Bobby Unser
Pits: Jack Arute
Pits: Dr. Jerry Punch
Pits: Gary Gerould
Executive Producer: Jack O'Harra
Producer: Bob Goodrich
Screenshot �96 ABC SPORTS The telecast was again billed as a "Presentation of ABC's Wide World of Sports." Paul Page opened the rain-delayed broadcast sitting in front of the pylon on the mainstrech. The broadcast opening focused on the new Indy Racing League drivers, featuring the familiar Delta Force theme. ABC replaced their scoring "bug" with a scrolling banner, which displayed laps remaining, and an continuous field summary. At the finish, winner Buddy Lazier was shown from the Tower Terrace camera, just as an accident occured exiting turn four. Slowly returning to the pits, a commercial break was made before victory lane. Lazier had been injured earlier in the season, and had not yet climbed out of his car when the broadcast returned from break. The rain delay slightly extended the broadcast by fifteen minutes.
Screenshot �96 ABC SPORTS

1997

Date: Sunday May 25
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 11:00 AM EDT
Length: 4 hrs., 30 mins.
Format: Live (Rainout)
Rat./Shr. (Pre-race/overnight): 3.6
Rat./Shr. (Rain delay/overnight): 4.3
Rat./Shr. (Rain delay/finals): 4.3/13
Audience (Rain): 4.2 million HH

Date: Monday May 26
Length: 2 hrs., 38 mins.
Format: Live (Rain Halted)
Rat./Shr. (Pre-race/overnight): 5.1
Rat./Shr. (Race start/overnight): 7.3
Rat./Shr. (Race start/finals): 6.6/18

Date: Tuesday May 27
Length: 5 hrs., 20 mins.
Format: Live
Rat./Shr. (Conclusion): 5.0/18

Announcer: Paul Page
Analyst: Tom Sneva
Turn 2: Bobby Unser
Turn 4: Danny Sullivan
Pits: Jack Arute
Pits: Dr. Jerry Punch
Pits: Gary Gerould
Producer: Bob Goodrich
Screenshot �97 ABC SPORTS The 1997 race was scheduled to be broadcast live on Sunday May 25. The broadcast, presented on "Wide World of Sports," opened with a rain delay, with the race preparing to get started approximately an hour late. Rain returned, however, and the race was postponed until Monday at 11 AM EST (noon EDT). The broadcast resumed, showing highlights, interviews, and various talk. On Monday May 26, the broadcast preempted regularly scheduled programming. It opened with the Delta Force theme, and all prerace was shown as normal, except for the Invocation. The race began, but rain halted it after 15 laps. When officials announced the resumption of the race was scheduled for Tuesday at 11 AM EST (noon EDT), ABC concluded the broadcast, and returned to regularly scheduled programming. On Tuesday May 27, the conclusion of the race was shown live, preempting regularly scheduled programming. No introduction was shown, and the broadcast opened immediately at noon EDT with the restart command. The entire conclusion was shown live. On all three days, due to the delays, Paul Page opened from the broadcasting booth on the roof of the Paddock Penthouse grandstand. The broadcast featured the first use of the rollbar-mounted, top-view, in-car camera, and the first significant use of live, in-car two-way radio communication. The radio communication, however, was not edited, and on the final lap of the race, leader Arie Luyendyk was involved in a confusing sitation regarding the last lap restart. On live television, Arie was overheard saying "...yellow's out, green is on, what the f*** are they doing?" The tape-delayed broadcast in the Indianapolis-area later that night edited out obscenity. Arie was shown already out of the car in victory lane due to a commercial break after the finish. A few years later, footage was shown of Luyendyk pulling into victory lane from his on-board camera.
Screenshot �97 ABC SPORTS
Screenshot �97 ABC SPORTS

1998

Date: Sunday May 24
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 11:00 AM EDT
Length: 5 hrs., 20 mins.
Format: Live Flag-to-Flag
Rat./Shr. (Final w/ pre-race): 5.5/18
Rat./Shr. (Final race only): 6.0/19
Audience (Final): 5.4 million HH
Rat./Shr. (Overnight): 5.6

Announcer: Paul Page
Analyst: Tom Sneva
Pits: Jack Arute
Pits: Dr. Jerry Punch
Pits: Gary Gerould
Producer: Bob Goodrich
Screenshot �98 ABC SPORTS The telecast was again billed as a "Presentation of ABC's Wide World of Sports." Paul Page opened the rain-delayed broadcast from the broadcast booth on the roof of the Paddock Penthouse grandstand. The race started after a 35 minute delay. At the start, ABC pit reporter Gary Gerould rode along in the pace car, giving a live account. During a pit area interview with Jack Arute, driver Tony Stewart, who dropped out early, spoke an obscenity as he said "...this has been my number one goal, every year I get s*** on doing it..." To save face, analyst Tom Sneva responded by saying that "it sounded like a smelly ending to Tony's day." The finish was shown from the Tower Terrace camera, and the closing was moved along quickly as the broadcast had run late, to 5 hours and 20 minutes. Brent Musberger had a small role in the telecast, as studio host for "Wide World of Sports." At the track, the Speedway broadcasted the "500" locally to the fans in attendance. Only televisions on Speedway grounds could pick up the special, targeted signal, shown live in the area for the first time ever.
Screenshot �98 ABC SPORTS

1999

Date: Sunday May 30
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 11:00 AM EDT
Length: 4 hrs., 30 mins.
Format: Live Flag-to-Flag
Rat./Shr. (Final w/ pre-race): 5.0/17
Rat./Shr. (Final race only): 5.5/18
Audience (race only): 5,482,000

Host: Al Michaels
Announcer: Bob Jenkins
Analyst: Tom Sneva
Pits: Dr. Jerry Punch
Pits: Gary Gerould
Pits: Jon Beekhuis
Executive Producer: Howard Katz
Producer: Bob Goodrich
Screenshot �99 ABC SPORTS Longtime ABC personality Al Michaels joined the telecast as host for the first time, billed as a "Presentation of ABC's Wide World of Sports." The introduction did not feature the Delta Force theme, the first time since 1987. Michaels opened in the pits, near the pylon, and even talked with his then co-host on "Monday Night Football," retired quarterback Boomer Esiason. A new camera was placed on the top of the scoring pylon, which featured a bird's eye view of the mainstrech and the start. ABC's scoring banner was replaced by a scrolling graphics box. On the final lap, ABC experienced another subtle obscenity while monitoring live radio communications. Leader Kenny Brack, who had just surprisingly taken the lead, said on live television "...don't say a word until we hit the f***ing checkered." The finish was again shown from the now commonly used Tower Terrace camera. Robin Roberts served as studio host on the WWOS telecast. At the track, seven of the original message board signs (built in 1987) were replaced by large video screens. The improvements included four Daktronics ProStar� Video Plus screens, and three Daktronics ProStar� large screens. Message boards on the mainstrech remained unchaged, as additional construction improvements in preparation for the 2000 were still to be done.
Screenshot �99 ABC SPORTS

2000

Date: Sunday May 28
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 11:00 AM EDT
Length: 7 hrs.
Format: Live Flag-to-Flag
Rat./Shr. (Final w/ pre-race): 4.4/13
Rat./Shr. (Final race only): 5.5/15
Audience (race only): 5,565,000

Host: Al Michaels
Announcer: Bob Jenkins
Analyst: Tom Sneva
Analyst: Arie Luyendyk
Pits: Jack Arute
Pits: Dr. Jerry Punch
Pits: Gary Gerould
Pits: Leslie Gudell
Executive Producer: Howard Katz
Producer: Bob Goodrich
Screenshot �00 ABC SPORTS The new Pagoda was completed on the mainstrech to house race control and broadcasting. ABC, however, remained in their booth atop the Paddock Penthouse grandstand. The introduction featured the drivers of the starting lineup and former winners. Shortly after the broadcast opened, rain fell and delayed the race for 3 hours and ten minutes. The delay was filled with footage of the 1999 race, along with various highlights and interviews. At the start, ABC pit reporter Leslie Gudel rode in the pace car. ABC's graphics again featured a scoring box, limited to three lines. New computer-generated signage was shown in turn four. At the finish, winner Juan Montoya was shown from the Tower Terrace camera, and the marathon coverage was over seven hours. Robin Roberts served again as "Wide World of Sports" studio host. At the track, the Speedway replaced the remaining six electronic message boards with Daktronics ProStar� video screens. Fans around the entire track could now view live video footage.
Screenshot �00 ABC SPORTS

2001

Date: Sunday May 27
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 11:00 AM EDT
Length: 4 hrs., 30 mins.
Format: Live Flag-to-Flag
Rat./Shr. (Final w/ pre-race): 5.2/16
Rat./Shr. (Final race only): 5.8/17
Audience (race only): 5,899,000

Host: Al Michaels
Announcer: Bob Jenkins
Analyst: Larry Rice
Analyst: Jason Priestley
Pits: Jack Arute
Pits: Dr. Jerry Punch
Pits: Leslie Gudell
Pits: Vince Welch
Executive Producer: Howard Katz
Producer: Bob Goodrich
Screenshot �01 ABC SPORTS At the intro, the Delta Force theme was revived, featuring all living former winners. Host Al Michaels opened in front of the pylon in the pit area. At the start, reporter Jason Priestley reported from inside the pace car. A new camera mounted under the new flagstand showed the start. Along with computer-generated sinage, digital images were placed on the track surface. After the finish, producers cut to a clip of Helio Castroneves' custom of climbing fences after victories. Due to the clip, they missed Castroneves doing it live at Indy. Seconds later, a replay was shown. Directors did not cut to commercial due to a late running broadcast cause by a mid-race rain delay.
Screenshot �01 ABC SPORTS

2002

Date: Sunday May 26
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 11:00 AM EDT
Length: 4 hrs., 30 mins.
Format: Live Flag-to-Flag
Rat./Shr. (Final w/ pre-race): 3.1/10
Rat./Shr. (Final race only): 4.8/15
Audience (race only): 5,057,000 HH

Host: Bob Jenkins
Announcer: Paul Page
Analyst: Scott Goodyear
Pits: Jack Arute
Pits: Dr. Jerry Punch
Pits: Gary Gerould
Pits: Vince Welch
Executive Producer: Howard Katz
Producer: Bob Goodrich
Director: Drew Esocoff
Screenshot �02 ABC SPORTS The prerace opened as "Countdown to the Indianapolis 500 Presented by Radio Shack." At the start, a new moving camera covered the mainstrech. A different angle was used at the finish, a camera low along the wall in turn one. Similiar to the classic view, but at track level.
Screenshot �02 ABC SPORTS

2003

Date: Sunday May 25
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 11:00 AM EDT
Length: 4 hrs., 30 mins.
Format: Live Flag-to-Flag
Rat./Shr. (Overnight): 5.1
Rat./Shr. (Pre-race only): 2.7/9
Audience (Pre-race only): 2,923,000 HH
Rat./Shr. (Final w/ pre-race): 4.2/13
Rat./Shr. (Final race only): 4.6/14
Audience (race only): 4,892,000 HH
Audience (race only): 6,723,000 viewers

Host: Bob Jenkins
Announcer: Paul Page
Analyst: Scott Goodyear
Pits: Jack Arute
Pits: Dr. Jerry Punch
Pits: Gary Gerould
Pits: Vince Welch
Executive Producer: Mike Pearl
Producer: Bob Goodrich
Director: Drew Esocoff
Screenshot �03 ABC SPORTS The broadcast opened on "Wide World of Sports" with a teaser by famous pilot Gen. Chuck Yeager titled "X-Treme Speed.' The teaser by Bill Gardner would eventually be nominated for a Sports Emmy for post production audio/sound. The prerace was billed as "Countdown to the Indianapolis 500 by 7-Eleven." Host Bob Jenkins opened in front of the pylon. The race broadcast was billed as the "Indianapolis 500 Presented by 7-Eleven," the first sponsored telecast in several years. Digital graphics were featured throughout, including a representation of a football field on the track surface, demonstrating the speed of the cars. The scoring box was replaced by a scrolling banner on the bottom of the screen. For the final time, the broadcasting crew called the race from the booth on the Paddock grandstand.
Screenshot �03 ABC SPORTS

2004

Date: Sunday May 30
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 11:00 AM EDT
Length: 8 hrs., 22 mins.
Format: Live Flag-to-Flag
Rat./Shr. (Overnight): 4.7
Rat./Shr. (Final): 4.7/11
Audience (Final): 4,420,000 HH
Audience (Final): 6,100,000 viewers
Rat./Shr. (Pre-Race): 2.3/8
Rat./Shr. (Rain Delay 1): 3.6
Audience (Rain Delay 1): 3,903,000 HH
Rat./Shr. (Rain Delay 2): 3.3
Audience (Rain Delay 2): 3,605,000 HH
Rat./Shr. (Final 30 minutes): 4.8

Host: Terry Gannon
Announcer: Paul Page
Analyst: Scott Goodyear
Color: Jack Arute
Commentary: Jim McKay
Pits: Dr. Jerry Punch
Pits: Gary Gerould
Pits: Vince Welch
Pits: Todd Harris
Pits: Jamie Little
Producer: Terry Linger
Director: Conrad Piccirillo
Screenshot �04 ABC SPORTS ABC celebrated its 40th year of televising the Indianapolis 500. The prerace opened on "Wide World of Sports" in a rain delay by host Terry Gannon. The broadcast was billed as the "Indianapolis 500 Presented by 7-Eleven." The broadcasting crew moved to a new booth, located in the Pit Road Suites next to the Pagoda. ESPN crews had previously been using the booth as well. ABC-TV debuted several innovations in their telecast, including the first 180 degree on-board rotating camera, a 80 mph pit road "fly-cam," and a "balloon cam" during the prerace festivities. The scolling banner was moved to the top of the screen. The start of the race was delayed by rain, then another delay halted the race shortly thereafter. ABC stayed on-air all afternoon, and the race was eventually resumed. After 7 PM Eastern, over eight hours into the broadcast, the race was officially ended when it began to rain a third time. ABC set a record for its marathon Indy coverage, broadcasting for 8 hours and 22 minutes. The introduction, titled "The Chase," featuring Henry Rollins, would ultimately earn a sports emmy nomination for outstanding post produced audio/sound.
Screenshot �04 ABC SPORTS

2005

Date: Sunday May 29
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 12:00 PM EDT
Length: 4 hrs., 30 mins.
Format: Live Flag-to-Flag
Rat./Shr. (Overnight): 6.6/17
Rat./Shr. (Overnight Pre-race): 4.0/11
Rat./Shr. (Overnight last 15 minutes): 8.8/21
Rat./Shr. (Final): 6.5/18
Rat./Shr. (Pre-race only): 3.7/12
Rat./Shr. (Last 15 minutes): 8.3/23

Host: Brent Musburger
Announcer: Todd Harris
Analyst: Scott Goodyear
Pits: Jack Arute
Pits: Dr. Jerry Punch
Pits: Jamie Little
Interviews: Penn Holderness
Executive Producer: Mike Pearl
Producer: Terry Linger
Director: Conrad Piccirillo
Screenshot �05 ABC SPORTS The Speedway, along with ABC decided to move the start of the race back one hour to improve television ratings. The race had traditionally started at 11 AM eastern standard local time (12 noon EDT) since 1963. Starting in 2005, the race was moved one hour later to 12:03 PM eastern standard local time, which is 1:03 PM EDT. The broadcast went on-air one hour later than usual, 12 PM EDT. The move was generally considered a success. The "Wide World of Sports" telecast opened with the prerace billed as "Firestone Race Day." The opening teaser entitled "Speed City," created by Brice Bowman of Earshot Audio Post, would eventually earn a sports emmy for outstanding post produced audio/sound. Host Brent Musberger opened in the pit road suites booth, now a fixture of the broadcasts.
Screenshot �05 ABC SPORTS

2006

Date: Sunday May 28
Network: ABC
On-Air Time: 12:00 PM EDT
Length: 4 hrs., 45 mins.
Format: Live Flag-to-Flag
Rat./Shr. (Final): 5.0/14
Rat./Shr. (Overnight): 5.2/13
Rat./Shr. (Overnight Pre-race): 2.8/18

Host: Brent Musburger
Announcer: Marty Reid
Analyst: Scott Goodyear
Analyst: Rusty Wallace
Pits: Jack Arute
Pits: Dr. Jerry Punch
Pits: Vince Welch
Pits: Jamie Little
Executive Producer: Mike Pearl
Producer: Shawn Murphy
Director: Patrick McManus
Screenshot �06 ABC SPORTS - Opening of 2006 Indianapolis 500 ABC started its telecast at noon EDT, with a tease narrated by Keifer Sutherland celebrating the 90th running. The pre-race show was billed as "Firestone Race Day," hosted by Brent Musberger. Musberger and new television member Rusty Wallace opened from a stage set up on the south end of the pit area. The race broadcast was billed as the "Indianapolis 500 Telecast Presented by Capital One." Wallace joined Scott Goodyear and new announcer Marty Reid in the broadcasting booth to call the race. During the national commercial breaks, ABC debuted the innovative "Side-By-Side" format, allowing viewers to not miss any track activity during breaks. The feature had been tested on previous IRL and soccer telecasts. On March 28, 2007, it was announced that the opening tease was nominated for a Sports Emmy by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for "Outstanding Open/Tease." On April 30, 2007, the Tease was announced as co-winner of the emmy, along with an NBA broadcast.
Screenshot �06 ABC SPORTS - Finish of 2006 Indianapolis 500

2007

Date: Sunday May 27
Network: ESPN on ABC
On-Air Time: 12:00 PM EDT
Length: hrs., mins.
Format: Live Flag-to-Flag
Rat./Shr. (Race only- Final): 4.3/12
Audience (Race only, 193 mins.): 4,760,000 HH
Viewers (Race only, 193 mins.): 6,402,000
Rat./Shr. (Pre-race- Final): 2.5/8
Audience (Pre-race, 61 mins.): 2,795,000 HH
Viewers (Pre-race, 61 mins.): 3,590,000
Rat./Shr. (1st segment, laps 1-113): 4.5
Rat./Shr. (Rain delay): 3.1/8
Audience (Rain delay, 178 mins.): 3,414,000 HH
Viewers (Rain delay, 178 mins.): 4,431,000
Rat./Shr. (Overnight- race only): 4.8
Rat (Overnight- WRTV Indianapolis): 15.1/23

Host: Brent Musburger
Announcer: Marty Reid
Analyst: Scott Goodyear
Analyst: Rusty Wallace
Pits: Jack Arute
Pits: Vince Welch
Pits: Jamie Little
Pits: Brienne Pedigo
  The live broadcast of the 91st Indianapolis 500 was the first under the new ESPN on ABC arrangement, and marked the 43rd consecutive year that the Indy 500 was shown on ABC. It aired under the title "91st Indianapolis 500 Telecast Presented by GoDaddy.com." In April, the decision was made to air the race for the first time High-Definition. While the race started on-time, a rain delay after the halfway point extended the broadcast. ABC stayed on-air all afternoon, similiar to 2000 and 2004, and used filler material (including highlights from 1975 and 2006) during the red flag. The broadcast also marked the second consecutive year that the "Side-By-Side" feature was used for commerical breaks during race action. Longtime pit reporter Dr. Jerry Punch was not part of the broadcasting crew for the first time in 19 years, as he had been reassigned to ESPN's NASCAR coverage. On March 13, 2008, the teaser opening "All Roads Lead to Indy" was nominated for a Sports Emmy.
 

2008

Date: Sunday May 25
Network: ESPN on ABC
On-Air Time: 11:00 AM EDT (ESPN2)
On-Air Time: 12:00 PM EDT (ABC)
Length: 6 hrs.
Format: Live Flag-to-Flag
Rat./Shr. (Pre-race): 2.2/7
Audience (Pre-race): 3,159,000 HH
Viewers (Pre-race): 2,505,000

Rat./Shr. (Overnight): 5.1

Rat./Shr. (Finals): 4.6/13
Rat (Overnight- WRTV Indianapolis): 12.6/22
Audience (Finals): 5,167,000 HH
Viewers (Finals): 7,245,000

Host: Brent Musburger
Announcer: Marty Reid
Analyst: Scott Goodyear
Analyst: Eddie Cheever
Pits: Jack Arute
Pits: Vince Welch
Pits: Jamie Little
Pits: Brienne Pedigo
  The live broadcast of the 92nd Indianapolis 500 started with an hour-long prerace show on ESPN2. That was followed by a one hour prerace on ABC named "Firestone Race Day." It aired under the title "92nd Indianapolis 500 Telecast Presented by GoDaddy.com." It was the second year aired in high-definition, and the third with the "Side-By-Side" commerical breaks.

Historical Notes of the Indianapolis 500 on Television

May 30, 1949: WFBM-TV Channel 6 of Indianapolis debuted on air by showing a documentary about the Indy 500, then the entire race live to about 3,000 local households. The station utilized three cameras located along the mainstrech. Earl Townsend, Jr., who had worked previously as a radio reporter, was the first television announcer. Dick Pittenger and Paul Roberts joined Townsend along with engineer Robert Robbins.

May 30, 1950: WFBM-TV returned to cover the race flag-to-flag for a second time. The race was ended early due to rain. Following the 1950 race, Speedway president Tony Hulman disallowed WFBM from broadcasting the race live again, since he felt that attendance had been affected. WFBM, (which eventually became WRTV-6) would return in subsequent years, but only for race updates and general reporting, not for flag-to-flag coverage.

Saturday May 27, 1961: ABC's "Wide World of Sports" broadcasted Indianapolis 500 Time Trials, tape delayed, for the first time.

1962: ABC "Wide World of Sports" host Jim McKay reported from the Indianapolis 500 starting grid during the broadcast of the Monaco Grand Prix. Although ABC did not cover the Indy 500 that year, McKay and analyst Phil Hill gave comments about the race.

1964: The race was shown on closed-circuit television in various theatres and venues across the nation. The race would be shown in that matter until 1970.

Saturday May 29, 1971: The Indianapolis 500 was shown same-day, tape-delayed in primetime on ABC for the first time. This format would continue through 1985. The broadcast time slot between two and three hours, therefore the entire race, which took approximately three to three and a half hours, could not possibly be shown. Heavy editing was done before broadcast, and considerable filler material was used to fill segments. It was common for the producers to not decide which race segments they were going to air until late in the day. Sometimes even late-race editing was still ongoing when the beginning of the race was already on-air. In most cases, the commentators would only call the beginning and the end of the race live. The rest of the commentary was done after-the-fact, during the editing period, for the segements that were chosen for air.

February 19, 1979: CBS televised the NASCAR Daytona 500 live flag-to-flag for the first time, a risky move that proved extremely successful. It was the first 500-mile auto race to be shown on network television in that fashion. The Indianapolis 500 was still being shown same-day tape delay on ABC. It was the policy of Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Tony Hulman to not show the race live. He feared potential backlash in the wake of a possible tragedy being shown on live television. Following the tragic races of 1964 and 1973, Hulman stood firm on his decision. Hulman passed away in 1977, but ABC's contract continued for several years unchanged. In the early 1980s, ABC officials were eager to move the race to a live broadcast, following the success of the Daytona 500 on CBS.

July 25, 1981: The CART Norton Michgan 500 was held for the first time, and rival network NBC (who had signed a broadcast partnership with CART) televised the race live. It marked the first 500-mile Indy car race to be shown live on network television. The Indianapolis 500, however, continued on ABC in same-day-tape delay format.

August 19, 1985: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and ABC-TV signed an initial three-year deal to televise the Indianapolis 500 on live national television starting in 1986. The deal was made at approximately the same time that Capital Cities bought and became the parent company of ABC.

January 10, 1995: ABC, led by president Steve Bornstein, announced an agreement to televise the entire 1996 schedule of the new Indy Racing League, which had been officially announced on July 8, 1994. The new Indy car series formed by Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Tony George was to have five events in 1996, including its cornerstone event, the Indianapolis 500. The series was to debut twelve months later at Orlando.

January 27, 1996: ABC televised the first race of the new Indy Racing League, the Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Florida. The initial agreement to televise the league was finalized to broadcast all events of the IRL during its first two seasons. In 1996, the IRL season was to consist of a non-calendar-based schedule, with each season ending with the Indianapolis 500. The 1996 season consisted of three races, ending with the 1996 Indianapolis 500. The 1996-97 season was originaly scheduled to be five races, starting in August 1996 and ending at the 1997 Indianapolis 500. ABC's contract to televise the events of the first two IRL seasons effectively would end with the 1997 Indy 500. In late 1996, a decision was made by the IRL to revert to a calendar-based schedule, to better accomodate manufacturers, participants, and advertisers. The 1996-97 season was ammended to include the two events in late 1996, and all events held in 1997. ABC's original contract to televise the IRL was unchanged, and ended after the 1997 Indy 500. For the next two seasons, ABC was slated to cover only selected IRL events. In February 1996, shortly following that first IRL race at Walt Disney World Speedway, the Walt Disney Company finalized a deal with Capital Cities to buy ABC and become its parent company.

May 10, 1996: On the day before Pole Day, ABC signed an extension for only its Indy 500 coverage through the 1999 Indy 500. Selected IRL events through the 1999 season were to be covered by ABC under a seperate contract.

July 17, 1996: Jack O'Hara, the executive producer of ABC Sports, was killed in the crash of TWA flight 800. O'Hara had reportedly already been informed that he was being replaced. The 1996 Indianapolis 500 would serve as one of his final event telecasts.

May 21, 1999: Howard Katz took over as Executive Producer of ABC Sports in March 1999. During his first two months at the position, Katz spearheaded an effort to renew the broadcast rights to the Indianapolis 500, and IRL. ABC's existing contract ended with the 1999 Indy 500, and rumors in the industry suggested that other networks, including FOX, were interested in bidding for rights. CBS, and other cable networks had been televising IRL events for the past two seasons, and Katz, along with IRL officals, desired to centralize the league's television contract. On May 21, the day before Pole Day, ABC announced a new five-year contract for the Indy 500 and IRL, worth a reported $13-14 million total per year. The previous contract had been only $9-$10 million annually. The stipulations in the contract included daily programing for Indy 500 practice and qualifications, along with classic programming.

September 2, 2001: ABC signed a deal with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, exteneding their broadcast rights to the Indy 500 through 2007. The existing contract had extened their existing contract through the 2004 race.

May 27, 2004: On Carb Day, ABC and ESPN announced a new contract with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, extending their exclusive broadcast rights of the Indy Racing League indyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500 through the 2009 season.

April 2, 2006: The state of Indiana began observing daylight saving time for the first time on April 2, 2006. This necessitated another starting time change for the race. The race was scheduled to begin a couple minutes after 1 PM EDT local time. Technically, the start time was unchanged nationwide, only the zone observed locally differed.

August 10, 2006: ABC-TV announced that ESPN will become the brand for all sports programming carried on the ABC television network, starting with the debut of ABC's college football season on September 2, 2006. George Bodenheimer, president of ESPN and ABC Sports and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks, announced the deal, which includes the Indianapolis 500, NBA Finals, Rose Bowl game, Belmont Stakes, British Open, World Cup, WNBA, MLS and the Little League World Series, as part of over 500 hours of annual sports programming. The arrangement will be broadcast under the monikor ESPN on ABC.

December 2006: ESPN's broadcasted a year-end special "SportsCenter Top Ten Games of 2006." The 2006 Indy 500 was ranked by the expert panel as #10 on the list. Highlights of the race and the final lap were shown in the countdown.

April 24, 2007: GoDaddy.com announced that they will be the television presenting sponsor for the broadcast of the 2007 Indianapolis 500, and for the broadcasts of time trials on ESPN2. The race will be advertised as "The Indianapolis 500 broadcast presented by GoDaddy.com." GoDaddy had recently gained attention with its Super Bowl commercials, and for sponsoring driver Danica Patrick, making her a company spokesperson, and an official "GoDaddy girl."

May 8, 2007: ABC/ESPN and IMS Productions officially announced that the 2007 Indianapolis 500 will be broadcast in High-Definition for the first time. Time Trials will also be shown in HD. The production will utilize 53 cameras.

August 7, 2008: The Indy Racing League announced a new multi-million dollar, multi-year television deal with ABC and a new partner, Versus. The existing contract with ABC/ESPN was replaced with a four-year deal for 2009-2012 to air the Indianapolis 500 and four other IndyCar Series races live in high-definition on ABC (through the ESPN on ABC arrangement). The deal with ABC is reportedly worth $6 million annually. Versus signed a 10-year contract to show at least 13 IndyCar Series races each year through 2018 live in high-definition. The deal with Versus is reportedly worth $4 million annually. Versus will carry Indy 500 time trials, as well as widely expanded coverage of other IndyCar Series events (preview and qualifying highlights, expanded pre-race, and other ancillary programming) and the Indy Lights series.

From 1971-1987, it was traditional for the winner to be shown crossing the finish line from the same camera angle. With the camera positioned in turn one, looking up the frontstrech, the winner would be shown coming towards the viewer as he crossed the finish line. The only exception was the 1982 race, in which producers found it much more appropriate to show the battle of Gordon Johncock and Rick Mears from the side view, since it was the closest finish ever to that point. In 1988, a new camera location was placed on top of the flagstand. At the finish, this camera would show the viewer the flagman waving the checkered flag at the winner, but usually did not allow the viewer to see the winning car crossing the finish line. It was used from 1988-1990 and 1992. This practice was scrutinized, and finally abandoned after a controversey in 1992. That year, Al Unser, Jr. and Scott Goodyear battled to the closest finish ever at Indy, but since the director cut to that flagstand camera, the viewers were unable to see the finish, and in fact, were not able to see who won. It was not until the finish was replayed that viewers were able to see how close the finish was. Starting in 1993, the producers changed the footage of the finish to be from the side view. The camera was located adjacent to the Tower Terrace grandstand, on the inside of the track. In 1994, the traditional camera in turn one was used again at the finish. Nearly every year since 1995, the view of the finish has been from the Tower Terrace camera.

Indy 500 Time Trials & Practice on Television

1961: ABC televised time trials for the first time. Coverage was recorded and edited to be shown on ABC's Wide World of Sports. In subsequent years, ABC carried a wide range of time trials coverage, and has done so every year since.

1987: ESPN covered time trials for the first time. ESPN and its family of networks has covered time trials every year since.

1993: For the first time, ESPN covered daily practice with a half-hour wrap-up show. Each show went on-air at 6:30 PM EDT (5:30 PM EST) and was hosted by Paul Page and other various ESPN reporters.

1996-1997: Upstart network ESPN2 covered daily practice with two-hour live daily reports each weekday afternoon. Later in the day, ESPN showed a half-hour practice wrap-up show for each practice day.

1998-2000: The schedule for track activity was reduced to two weeks, and time trials was reduced to two days. ESPN2 debuted a two-hour live daily report on each practice day during the first week. ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2 teamed together to cover both days of qualifying non-stop from open to close.

2001: Track activity was expanded back to three weeks, and time trials was scheduled for three days. The live daily reports on ESPN2 were reduced from two hours to an hour and a half, and additional thirty-minute episodes were televised on days when the track was closed. ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2 continued to cover non-stop, open-to-close coverage of time trials. ABC and ESPN's coverage of time trials featured Simulcam, which digitally compared qualifying runs between cars.

2002: Live daily reports were eliminated on ESPN2, and as a replacement, the daily news program RPM2Night broadcasted live from the Speedway on practice days. The program, however, still focused on all forms of racing, and coverage at Indianapolis was limited. ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 again combined to broadcast extensive coverage of time trials. Unlike previous years, open-to-close coverage was not featured, as the networks went off-air during the routinely slow, mid-afternoon periods of the day. The networks also wanted to eliminate the chances of broadcasting filler material during long rain dealys. Coverage was exclusive, however, at the open and close of qualifying.

2003: Coverage mirrored that of 2002, however, the RPM2Night programs on ESPN2 featured significantly increased exclusive coverage at Indianapolis.

2004: The RPM2Night program was eliminated from ESPN2's lineup several months prior. In its place, ESPN2 broadcasted SportsCenter at the Indianapolis 500, a 6:30 PM EDT (5:30 PM EST) half-hour practice wrap-up show, hosted by John Kernan. Time trials coverage was shared by ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2, with only the down hours not shown, as before. During the month of May 2004, ESPN and ABC announced a new television contract extention through 2009. The contract would provide for a daily practice show each year.

2005: ESPN2 returned its 6:30 PM EDT (5:30 PM EST) daily half-hour wrap up-show, SportsCenter at the Indianapolis 500, hosted this year by by Dr. Jerry Punch. Time trials was expanded to four days, and ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2 televised all four days, covering most hours of the sessions.

2006: ESPN2 again returned with its daily half-hour wrap-up show, SportsCenter Presented by Weber Grills at the Indianapolis 500. The program was moved one hour earlier that previous years, to 5:30 PM EDT. The change was to coincide with the move of Indiana to Daylight Saving Time, and thus the close of daily practice at 6 PM EDT. Dr. Jerry Punch served as host along with analyst Scott Goodyear. Time trials coverage was shared among ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2. ABC's broadcast were billed as "Indianapolis 500 Pole Day Telecast Presented by Capital One." The hours of coverage initially scheduled varied each of the four qualifying days. Both of the first two days of time trials were rained out, so each broadcast featured repeated interviews, features, and highlights. A scheduled one-hour broadcast at the end of the day Sunday went on-air for only a few minutes to report that rain had closed the track for the day. Filler programming was moved up and took its place. On the third day of qualifying, the day in which pole day was rescheduled for, a special prime-time recap show was aired on ESPN2.

2007: ESPN2 was originally scheduled to air a 30-minute daily practice wrap-up show, and extensively cover time trials and race day on ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN on ABC. However, in April, the decision was made to air time trials and the race in high-definition. The significant additional cost would require shifting of budgets. In order to make the change, the 30-minute daily wrap-up show was eliminated. Extensive coverage of time trials, however, was unchanged.

2008: Pre-race coverage was expanded to two hours for the first time. One hour on ESPN2 followed by the normal one hour on ABC.

Indy 500 Time Trials, Practice and Other Broadcasts

1996
Time Trials (ABC): Paul Page, Bobby Unser, Danny Sullivan, Jack Arute, Dr. Jerry Punch, Gary Gerould
Time Trials (ESPN/ESPN2): Dave Despain, Danny Sullivan, Jon Beekhuis, Dr. Jerry Punch, Gary Gerould, Mike King, Marty Reid
Live Daily Reports (ESPN2): Dave Despain, Danny Sullivan, Jon Beekhuis, Dr. Jerry Punch, Gary Gerould, Mike King, Marty Reid

1997
Time Trials (ABC): Paul Page, Tom Sneva, Jack Arute, Gary Gerould
Time Trials (ESPN): Dave Despain, Tom Sneva, Jack Arute, Dr. Jerry Punch, Gary Gerould
Time Trials (ESPN2): Paul Page, Tom Sneva, Dr. Jerry Punch, Jon Beekuis, Mike King
Live Daily Reports (ESPN2): Paul Page, Dave Despain, Jon Beekuis, Dr. Jerry Punch, Gary Gerould, Mike King
Carb Day (ESPN): Dave Despain, Jon Beekuis, Dr. Jerry Punch, Mike King
RPM2Day (ESPN2): Kenny Mayne, Marlo Klain

1998
Time Trials (ABC): Paul Page, Tom Sneva, Jack Arute, Gary Gerould, Brent Musberger (studio host)
Time Trials (ESPN/ESPN2): Paul Page, Jon Beekhuis, Dr. Jerry Punch, Gary Gerould
Live Daily Reports (ESPN2):

1999
Time Trials (ABC): Bob Jenkins, Tom Sneva, Jon Beekhuis, Gary Gerould
Time Trials (ESPN/ESPN2): Bob Jenkins, Johnny Rutherford, Dr. Jerry Punch, Gary Gerould, Bob Varsha
Live Daily Reports (ESPN2): Bob Jenkins, Johnny Rutherford (Sun), Jon Beekhuis (Mon-Fri), Dr. Jerry Punch, Bob Varsha (Sun), Gary Gerould (Mon-Fri)
Carb Day (ESPN): Bob Varsha, Johnny Rutherford, Dr. Jerry Punch, Steven Cox

2000
Time Trials (ABC): Bob Jenkins, Tom Sneva, Jack Arute, Vince Welch, Leslie Gudel
Time Trials (ESPN/ESPN2): Bob Jenkins, Tom Sneva, Arie Luyendyk, Dr. Jerry Punch, Bill Weber
Live Daily Reports (ESPN2): Bob Jenkins, Tom Sneva (Sun-Tue, Thu-Fri), Johnny Rutherford (Wed), Jack Arute, Dr. Jerry Punch
Carb Day (ESPN): Marty Reid, Arie Luyendyk, Dr. Jerry Punch, Bill Weber

2001
Time Trials (ABC): Bob Jenkins, Larry Rice, Jack Arute, Vince Welch, Leslie Gudel, Jason Priestley
Time Trials (ESPN/ESPN2): Marty Reid (pole day), Bob Jenkins (day 2 & 3), Larry Rice, Jack Arute, Dr. Jerry Punch, Leslie Gudel
Live Daily Reports (ESPN2): Bob Jenkins, Larry Rice, Jack Arute, Dr. Jerry Punch, Leslie Gudel (Fri)
2000 Race Recap (ESPN): Bob Jenkins
Before They Go Green (ESPN): Bob Jenkins, Larry Rice
2001 Highlights & Race Recap (ESPN): Bob Jenkins
2001 Victory Celebration Banquet (ESPN): Bob Jenkins

2002
Time Trials (ABC): Bob Jenkins, Paul Page, Scott Goodyear, Jack Arute, Gary Gerould, Vince Welch
Time Trials (ESPN/ESPN2): Bob Jenkins, Scott Goodyear, Jack Arute, Dr. Jerry Punch
RPM2Night/RPM2Day (ESPN2): Whit Watson, Marlo Klain, Robin Miller, John Kernan
Before They Go Green (ESPN): Bob Jenkins, Scott Goodyear
Voices of the Speedway: Bob Jenkins
2002 Victory Celebration Banquet (ESPN): Bob Jenkins, Kenny Mayne

2003
Time Trials (ABC): Bob Jenkins, Paul Page, Scott Goodyear, Jack Arute, Gary Gerould
Time Trials (ESPN/ESPN2): Bob Jenkins, Scott Goodyear, Jack Arute, Dr. Jerry Punch
RPM2Night (ESPN2): John Kernan, Marlo Klain, Robin Miller, Dr. Jerry Punch, Dan Wheldon, David Lloyd
Carb Day (ESPN): Bob Jenkins, Larry Rice, Jack Arute, Dr. Jerry Punch
Freedom 100 (ESPN): Dr. Jerry Punch, Davey Hamilton, Helio Castroneves, Amy East Cook
ESPN Classic Indy 500's: 1990, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1992, 1981 (Classic "Big Ticket")
2003 Highlights & Race Recap (ESPN2): Mike King, Gil de Ferran
2003 Victory Celebration Banquet (ESPN2): Bob Jenkins

2004
Time Trials (ABC): Paul Page, Scott Goodyear, Jack Arute, Todd Harris, Vince Welch
Time Trials (ESPN/ESPN2): Dr. Jerry Punch, Gil de Ferran, Gary Gerould, Jamie Little
SportsCenter at the Indianapolis 500 (ESPN2): John Kernan, Gil de Ferran, Marlo Klain
Freedom 100: Dr. Jerry Punch, Cameron Steele, Helio Castroneves, Robbie Buhl
ESPN Classic Indy 500's: 1982 (Classic "Big Ticket")

2005
Time Trials (ABC): Todd Harris, Scott Goodyear, Jack Arute, Vince Welch, Jamie Little, Penn Holderness
Time Trials (ESPN/ESPN2): Dr. Jerry Punch, Greg Ray, Jamie Little
SportsCenter at the Indianapolis 500 (ESPN2): Dr. Jerry Punch, Scott Goodyear, Marlo Klain
Ready to Race- 89th Indianapolis 500 (ESPN):
ESPN Classic Indy 500's: 1985
SportsCentury: Bill Vukovich, Al Unser, A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Rick Mears, Tony Stewart
The Season: Danica Patrick's Race for the Indy 500
ESPN Classic "Instant Classic": 2005 Indy 500 (Friday June 3)

2006
Indianapolis 500 Pole Day Telecast Presented by Capital One (ABC): Marty Reid, Scott Goodyear, Rusty Wallace, Jack Arute, Dr. Jerry Punch, Jamie Little, Vince Welch
Pole Day & Second Day Time Trials (ESPN/ESPN2): Marty Reid, Scott Goodyear, Rusty Wallace, Jack Arute, Dr. Jerry Punch, Jamie Little, Vince Welch
SportsCenter Presented by Weber Grills at the Indianapolis 500 (ESPN2): Dr. Jerry Punch, Scott Goodyear, Marlo Klain, Rusty Wallace
Carb Day & Freedom 100 (ESPN): Marty Reid, Scott Goodyear, Rusty Wallace, Jack Arute, Dr. Jerry Punch, Jamie Little, Vince Welch
Ready to Race- 90th Indianapolis 500 (ESPN):
SportsCentury: Bill Vukovich, Al Unser, A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Rick Mears
ESPN Classic Indy 500's: 1981 (Classic "Big Ticket"), 1982 (Classic "Big Ticket"), 1987, 1992, 2005
IPL 500 Festival Parade (ESPN2): Marysol Castro, Bob Jenkins, Nicole Manske
Faces of Sports: Dan Wheldon's Race for the Indy 500 (ESPN June 10th): Patrick Dempsey
Indianapolis 500 (International Feed): Gary Lee, Larry Rice
ESPN Classic "Instant Classic": 2006 Indy 500 (Friday June 2)

2007
Indianapolis 500 Time Trials (Pole Day) Telecast Presented by GoDaddy.com (ESPN on ABC): Marty Reid, Scott Goodyear, Jack Arute, Brienne Pedigo, Jamie Little, Vince Welch
Indianapolis 500 Time Trials Telecast Presented by GoDaddy.com (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN on ABC): Marty Reid, Scott Goodyear, Rusty Wallace, Jack Arute, Brienne Pedigo, Jamie Little, Vince Welch
Carb Day & Pit Stop Contest (ESPN): Marty Reid, Scott Goodyear, Rusty Wallace, Jack Arute, Brienne Pedigo, Jamie Little, Vince Welch
Freedom 100 (ESPN): Marty Reid, Scott Goodyear, Rusty Wallace, Brienne Pedigo, Jamie Little
Ready to Race (ESPN): Marty Reid, Scott Goodyear, Rusty Wallace, Jack Arute, Brienne Pedigo, Jamie Little, Vince Welch
Indianapolis 500 IPL Festival Parade (ESPN2): Bob Jenkins, Marlo Klain, Mike King, Helio Castroneves, guest host Peyton Manning The BottomLine on ESPN and ESPN2 had a countdown to the start of the race during the weekend.
Indianapolis 500 (International Feed): Gary Lee, Larry Rice
ESPN Classic "Instant Classic": 2007 Indy 500 (Thursday May 31)

ESPN Classic Broadcasts

1971 Indy 500: Starting in 2000, ESPN Classic began to show an edited version of the 1971 Indy 500, originally broadcast same-day tape delay on ABC. The original broadcast was 2 hours and 30 minutes, however, the classic replay was edited to a two-hour time slot. It was shown several times in February 2002, but has not been shown much since.

1977 Indy 500: The day before the 2000 Indy 500, the 1977 ABC broadcast was scheduled to be shown on ESPN Classic, however, it reportedly was not aired, and has not been aired since. A report suggested that editing problems were encountered with the original master tapes.

1981 Indy 500: The controversial 1981 Indy 500 has been shown numerous times on ESPN Classic. The night before the 2003 race, it was shown as part of the ESPN Classic "Big Ticket" series. A two and a half hour version was aired hosted by Jack Arute featuring interviews and commentary with the key figures involved, Bobby Unser and Mario Andretti. The original broadcast was three hours long, and faced with the introductions and interviews, the race broadcast was considerably edited for time allotment. Later that summer, on July 30, 2003, the two and a half hour version was re-aired. On the day before the 2006 Indy 500, the "Big Ticket" version of the 1981 race was aired again, however, it was edited down to a two-hour timeslot.

1982 Indy 500: Since 2000, the 1982 Indy 500 has been shown on ESPN Classic several times. In April of 2000, it was shown presumably for the first time in a two-hour edit. The original broadcast was three hours, so significant amounts of footage was edited out. The broadcast was replayed the day before the 2000 race. On the day before the 2003 Indy 500, the 1982 race was shown again. However, a new two-hour edit was shown. Several minutes from the start were restored, including the aftermath of the Kevin Cogan accident at the start. Several segments of lesser importance from the first half of the race were removed, in favor of uninterrupted coverage of the finish. In May of 2004, the 1982 race was re-edit once again, this time part of the "Big Ticket" series. Drivers Gordon Johncock and Rick Mears were interviewed by Gary Miller, and provided commentary for the race. Additional segments of the race were removed from the broadcast in favor of the interview segments. The version was shown extensively in 2004, and again in 2006.

1985 Indy 500:

1986 Indy 500:

1987 Indy 500:

1992 Indy 500:

2005 Indy 500:

2006 Indy 500:

SportsCentury

Mario Andretti

A.J. Foyt

Rick Mears

Al Unser, Sr.

Bill Vukovich

Ratings comparisons (since 1993)

Year Indy 500 Daytona 500 Coca-Cola 600 Brickyard 400
19939.3/30 (ABC)8.4 (CBS)2.7 (TBS)not held
19949.1/31 (ABC)7.9 (CBS)3.8 (TBS)5.7 (ABC)
19959.4/28 (ABC)7.8 (CBS)4.3 (TBS)?.? (ESPN)
19967.1/23 (ABC)9.2 (CBS)4.6 (TBS)4.3 (ABC)
19975.0/18 (ABC)8.6 (CBS)5.0 (TBS)5.3 (ABC)
19986.0/19 (ABC)8.6 (CBS)5.0 (TBS)4.1 (ABC)
19995.5/18 (ABC)9.6 (CBS)4.9 (TBS)4.3/12 (ABC)
20005.5/15 (ABC)8.4 (CBS)4.3 (TBS)3.7/12 (ABC)
20015.8/17 (ABC)10.0 (FOX)5.3 (FOX)6.2/16 (NBC)
20024.8/15 (ABC)10.9 (NBC)5.1 (FOX)6.3/16 (NBC)
20034.6/14 (ABC) 9.8 (FOX)4.7 (FOX)6.0/15 (NBC)
20044.7/11 (ABC)10.6 (NBC)5.0 (FOX)6.1/15 (NBC)
20056.5/18 (ABC)10.9 (FOX)6.1 (FOX)6.2/15 (NBC)
20065.0/14 (ABC)11.3 (NBC)5.1 (FOX)5.5/13 (NBC)
20074.3/12 (ABC)10.1 (FOX)4.5 (FOX)4.2 (ESPN)
20084.6/13 (ABC)10.2 (FOX)4.7 (FOX)5.1 (ESPN)

Additional Ratings Notes/References:

5/11/96 (ABC) Indy 500 Pole Day 1.7
8/3/96  (ABC) Brickyard 400 4.3/13, 4.1 million HH

5/10/97 (ABC) Indy 500 Pole Day 1.0/4, 1.1 million HH
5/11/97 (ABC) Indy Time Trials 1.0/4, 1.0 million HH
5/25/97 (ABC) Indy 500 (Sun), 4.2 million HH

5/16/98 (ABC) Indy 500 Pole Day 1.5/5, 1.5 million HH
5/17/98 (ABC) Indy 500 Bump Day 1.4/5, 1.3 million HH
5/24/98 (ABC) Indy 500, 5.4 million HH

5/11/02 (ABC) Time Trials 1.1, 1,129,000 HH
5/19/02 (ABC) Time Trials 1.0, 1,091,000 HH
5/26/02 (ABC) Indy 500 Race Audience 5,057,000 HH
9/29/02 (ABC) USGP Audience 736,000 HH

5/10/03 (ABC) "Rained out Time Trials" Rat. 0.8, Aud- 819,000 HH
5/18/03 (ABC) "Time Trials- Bump Day" Rating 1.6, Aud- 1,753,000 HH
5/25/03 (ABC) "500" Audience- 4,892,000 HH
5/25/03 (ABC) "500" Prerace- Rating 2.7/9, Audience- 2,923,000 HH
8/3/03  (NBC) "Brickyard 400" Audience- 6,415,000 HH 

5/30/04 (ABC) "Indianapolis 500 Race" Rat. 4.1 Aud- 4,420,000 HH
5/30/04 (ABC) "Indianapolis 500 Rain Delay 1" Rat. 3.6 Aud- 3,903,000 HH
5/30/04 (ABC) "Indianapolis 500 Rain Delay 2" Rat. 3.3 Aud- 3,605,000 HH
5/15/04 (ABC) "Indy 500 Time Trials" Rat. 1.1 Aud- 1,186,000 HH
5/23/04 (ABC) "Indy 500 Time Trials" Rat. 1.1 Aud- 1,186,000 HH
8/8/04  (NBC) "Brickyard 400" Rat. 6.1/15 Aud- 6,663,000 HH
8/8/04  (NBC) "Brickyard 400" (Overnight Rat.) 5.5/12

5/14/05 (ABC) "Indy 500 Time Trials- Rain" Rat. 0.2/2, Aud.- 747,000 HH, 824,000 viewers, 120 minutes
5/22/05 (ABC) "Indy 500 Time Trials- Bump Day" Rat. 0.9/9, Aud.- 1,036,000 HH, 1,337,000 viewers, 120 minutes
5/29/05 (ABC) "Indianapolis 500-Average" (Overnight Ratings) Rat. 6.6/17
5/29/05 (ABC) "Indianapolis 500-Pre Race" (Overnight Ratings) Rat. 4.0/11
5/29/05 (ABC) "Indianapolis 500-Pre Race" Rat. 3.7/12
5/29/05 (ABC) "Indianapolis 500-Final 15 minutes" (4-4:14 PM) Rat. 8.3/23

5/13/06  (ABC) "Indy 500 Pole Day" (rained out)- Rat. 0.7/2, 737,000 HH, Total viewers 994,000, 180 minutes
5/21/06  (ABC) "Indy 500 Bump Day" Rat. 1.0/3, HH- 1,090,000, Total viewers- 1,365,000, 120 minutes
5/28/06  (ABC) "Indianapolis 500-Pre Race" (Overnight Ratings) Rat. 2.8/18
5/28/06  (ABC) "Indianapolis 500-Average" (Overnight Ratings) Rat. 5.2/13
8/6/06   (NBC) "Allstate 400 at the Brickyard" (Overnight Ratings) Rat. 4.8/11, 3.7 million households
8/6/06   (NBC) "Allstate 400 at the Brickyard" (Finals) Rat. 5.5/13, 6,092,000 households, aud. 8,645,000 viewers, 203 mins. 2:35 PM

7/28/07   (ESPN) "Allstate 400 at the Brickyard" 4,657,433 HH, 6,573,536 viewers

5/10/08  (ESPN2) "Indy Pole Day": 12-2 pm, Rat 0.47
5/10/08  (ABC) "Indy Pole Day": 3-6 pm, Rat 0.9, 1,329,000 viewers (up 13% from 2007)
5/10/08  (ESPN2) "Indy Pole Day wrap-up)": 6-7 pm, Rat 0.12
5/11/08  (ESPN2) "Indy Second Day time trials": (rained out), Rat 0.30
5/18/08  (ABC) "Indy Bump Day time trials": (overnight), Rat 1.3 (up 11% from 1.1 in 2007)
5/18/08  (ABC) "Indy Bump Day time trials": (2 hrs) (finals), Rat 1.1/3, audience 1,278,000 HH, 1,460,000 total viewers
5/25/08  (ABC) "Indianapolis 500 pre race" (1 hr) 2.2/7 2,505,000 HH 3,159,000 total viewers
5/25/08 (ABC) "Indianapolis 500 Race" (240 mins.) 4.6/13 5,167,000 HH, 7,245,000 total viewers

7/27/08 (ESPN) "Allstate 400 at the Brickyard" 4,888,964 HH, 6,667,729 viewers

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