VERSUS races back on DirecTV

By Dave Lewandowski

15 Mar 2010

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The dramatic IZOD IndyCar Series season opener from São Paulo, Brazil, was broadcast in North America by VERSUS, and now viewers have the series back on DirecTV.

Video service provider DirecTV reached an agreement with Comcast, parent company of VERSUS, to return the sports network its programming lineup March 15 – just in time for the re-air of the exciting São Paulo Indy 300.

VERSUS will return to the same DirecTV programming packages it was in at the end of August 2009. VERSUS will air 11 more IZOD IndyCar Series race weekend packages this year, beginning April 10 with a qualifications/race preview show from Barber Motorsports Park. Live coverage of the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by Legacy Credit Union is at 3 p.m. (ET) April 11.

VERSUS' coverage of the IZOD IndyCar Series opener March 14 in Brazil nets 76 percent increase in viewership over the '09 season opener on the network.

“I would like to thank Derek Chang (executive vice president of content strategy and development of DirecTV) along with Jamie Davis (VERSUS president) for working diligently to getting this deal done,” Indy Racing League CEO Randy Bernard said. “Everyone wins -- DirecTV, VERSUS and most importantly the fans of the Indy Racing League.”

VERSUS also will air Indianapolis 500 time trials, Miller Lite Carb Day activity and other ancillary programming. Races on VERSUS will be re-aired primarily on Mondays (check local listings).

VERSUS and ABC will combine to broadcast all 17 IZOD IndyCar Series races in high-definition where available. ABC’s first race will be the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 28 (3:30 p.m. ET).

“We’re excited that we were able to come to a fair agreement that puts VERSUS back in millions of homes with DirecTV in time for our busy spring programming schedule,” Davis said.

The IZOD IndyCar Series announced multi-year multimedia partnerships with ABC and VERSUS in August 2008. The 10-year partnership with VERSUS includes at least 12 live races per year. The partnership with ABC is highlighted by the network’s continued coverage of the Indianapolis 500 through 2012.

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