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UK IndyCar Series coverage to switch to ESPN

Sky Sports has confirmed that they no longer hold the rights to broadcast IndyCar races in the UK, and that rival sports network ESPN is to take over.
The IZOD IndyCar Series 2013 season will not be shown on Sky Sports in the UK, after the broadcaster announced that the exclusive television rights to show races had gone to rival network ESPN.

"IndyCar has been signed up by ESPN, so all races will be on there from March," Sky Sports announced as a reply to an enquiry on their Facebook page on Thursday. The same source added that there was also no deal in place for the channel to continue showing NASCAR Sprint Cup highlights in 2013.

Keith Huewen, who has fronted Sky Sports' coverage of IndyCar for 15 years, confirmed the news on his own Twitter feed.

"Finally, ESPN UK is the new home of IndyCar. Having covered IRL since '97 I will feel the loss! Thanks to fans that have been so supportive," he posted. "And thanks to the dedicated teams of people at Sky Sports who have done their best every round to make it the best show possible.

"Hopefully IndyCar fans will get what they want from the new deal here in the UK. I will be shouting for DF, JW, JJ etc. the same as before!" Later he added: "Many thanks for so many positive comments, I'm stunned by the reaction! IndyCar might be minority sport TV... but it's got passion!"

Sky Sports' disclosure of the IndyCar situation seemed to catch ESPN UK itself by surprise, as there was no immediate official announcement or press release concerning their new acquisition except for a brief post on Twitter.

"Confirmed: We will have IndyCar action on ESPN UK from the first race in St. Petersburg on March 24th," the channel's official Twitter feed posted on Thursday afternoon.

There was no further information forthcoming, so it's unknown whether all races will be aired live or in full: ESPN UK also shows DTM races, but usually delayed by up to 12 hours according to other events getting priority. Asked on their Facebook page whether or not the coverage will be live, ESPN replied "It certainly is!" but didn't indicate further whether that would be the case for all 19 races, or how much of the race would be shown as it happened.

It's also unclear whether IndyCar will be shown on ESPN's main channel or on ESPN America instead. The difference is that only the main channel is available across all platforms in the UK.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Helio Castroneves faces the media after Friday Practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 20. [Picture credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
The IZOD IndyCar Series World Championship Trophy, formerly known as the Astor Challenge Cup. [Picture Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
James Hinchcliffe poses for two photographs at the same time at Motegi. [Photo credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Michael Andretti discusses his anger at the decision to go green in the final laps of the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. August 2011. [Photo Credit: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media]
Tony Kanaan with his MAV TV 500 trophy (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power (right), driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, is congratulated by teammate Helio Castroneves after capturing the pole Saturday, August 23, 2014 with the fastest qualifying time for Sunday`s IndyCar race at at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a sixth-place finish Sunday, August 3, 2014 during the IndyCar Series race at Mid Ohio Raceway in Lexington, Ohio. The finish was good enough for Power to retake the drivers points championship lead from teammate Helio Castroneves. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon (right), driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 3, 2014 during the IndyCar Series race at Mid Ohio Raceway in Lexington, Ohio. Sebastien Bourdais (left), driver of the #11 Hydroxycut KVC Racing Technology Chevrolet IndyCar V6, finished second. It`s Dixon`s first victory of the season. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 celebrates his victory Sunday, August 3, 2014 during the IndyCar Series race at Mid Ohio Raceway in Lexington, Ohio. It`s Dixon`s first victory of the season. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 celebrates his victory Sunday, August 3, 2014 during the IndyCar Series race at Mid Ohio Raceway in Lexington, Ohio. It`s Dixon`s first victory of the season. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon in action on his way to victory in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sport Car Course on Sunday August 3 2014. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon in action on his way to victory in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sport Car Course on Sunday August 3 2014. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon in action on his way to victory in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sport Car Course on Sunday August 3 2014. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates victory in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sport Car Course on Sunday August 3 2014. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates victory in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sport Car Course on Sunday August 3 2014. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates victory in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sport Car Course on Sunday August 3 2014. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon and the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing team celebrate victory in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sport Car Course on Sunday August 3 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates victory in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sport Car Course on Sunday August 3 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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Gazza1JB

February 08, 2013 11:58 AM

GREAT! I dont have the money to buy ESPN so now that they not on Sky Sports anymore means i cant watch anymore indycar races and last year was one of the more exciting seasons in a while. Ive watched every race in the UK for years although some of them are recorded during the night and dont think they count 2wards viewing figures. This SUCKS!

al sim - Unregistered

February 08, 2013 1:40 PM

I have had a full sky package for years and pay the full wack, I am now expected to pay even more to watch Indy car on ESPN!!! I do like to watch Indy Car but this is a step to far and as far as I am cocerned the can stick it where the sun don't shine



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