Pan-European satellite network Eurosport has signed a deal to carry the majority of the 2003 Champ Car World Series live across the continent.

With an unprecedented migration of European drivers and former FIA International F3000 graduates to the Champ Car World Series in 2003, demand for live coverage of series event in Europe has led to the signing of a new deal with Eurosport TV to cover all 19 Champ Car races this year.

Eurosport TV and CART announced the signing of a three-year deal that will see Europe's most widely available channel broadcast the majority of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford events live.

"We are very pleased to be able to provide this Pan-European broadcast platform as part of our marketing strategy in Europe," said CART Director of International Operations and Development Timothy Mayer. "We are finalizing other terrestrial television deals in a number of countries which will be announced in the near future."

The new deal with Eurosport TV gives the Champ Car World Series a reach of over 93 million homes and 250 million viewers in 54 countries. Programming is delivered simultaneously in 18 European languages, allowing over 96 percent of European viewers to watch the racing action in their favorite language.

There has been an influx of European talent to the CART Series this year with no less than six European born/based drivers fighting for the Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year crown. Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais teams up with last year's Championship runner-up Bruno Junqueira at Newman-Haas Racing. Briton Darren Manning joins Walker Racing while former BAR test driver Patrick Lemarie joins Craig Pollock's new team. Brazilian former British Formula 3 and Formula 3000 stalwart Mario Haberfeld has signed for Conquest Racing where he will be based with Fittipaldi-Dingman Racing's latest signing, Portuguese rising star Tiago Monteiro. Another former FIA F3000 peddler, Switzerland's Joel Camathias completes the sextet after signing for Dale Coyne Racing.

Eurosport is broadcast via Astra, one of the main European satellites; on the basic programming tier of cable networks, and on nearly all existing digital platforms in the UK, Nordic Countries, France, Spain, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Greece.

British CART fans have been mixed in their reaction to the news as the British arm of Eurosport, Eurosport GB, has just signed a deal to cover Italian Serie A football on Sunday evenings. With SKY focusing on the Indy Racing League in 2003 British fans now face the prospect on an anxious wait on Sunday evenings to see whether the Champ Cars have been delayed or had their coverage sliced in half by tennis, football or tractor pulling overruns.

The opening round of the 2003 CART Championship in St Petersburg will be shown in a 75-minute highlights package on Eurosport GB on Monday 24th February, a day after the race.