THE Greatest Spectacle in Racing will be shown live into Australia this May.
WORDS: Richard Craill IMAGE: IndyCar
There were fears that the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 mile race would not be seen in full by Australian audiences, after IndyCar confirmed local fans would not receive live coverage of NTT Data IndyCar Series races this year.
Instead, Fox Sports will air a one-hour highlights package in the days following each round of the 2019 series that commenced this morning, Australian time, in Florida.
However, The Race Torque has confirmed that Fox Sports will continue to broadcast the Indianapolis 500 race live and in full this May.
A FOX SPORTS spokesperson said: “We’re pleased to announce that both IndyCar and the FIA World Rally Championship will be seen on FOX SPORTS in 2019, including the 103rd running of Indianapolis 500 LIVE on the same night as the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix.
“This will sit alongside our coverage of every race of Formula 1, Supercars and MotoGP season – with F1 also available in 4K Ultra HD. As well FOXTEL subscribers will have access to our premium coverage of AFL, NRL, Cricket, Rugby, Football and Golf.”
The Race Torque understands that the IndyCar Series was set for no coverage in Australia at all this year, before Fox stepped in to secure the highlights packages for each race at the last minute.
A separate agreement for the Indy 500 was then reached to ensure the continuation of live coverage of the race in Australia.
IndyCar has undergone a change in their International TV distribution across the off-season, with the series now managing the complicated process in-house rather than contracting it out to ESPN International as in previous years.
While some countries are winners out of the arrangement, the controversial change has seen IndyCar fans in Canada and Australia in particular voice their displeasure on social media.
The ‘500 has ever-increasing relevance to Australian racing fans thanks to Will Power’s remarkable victory in the 2018 race for Team Penske, the first Australian to win the race.
Two years earlier, Aussie Matt Brabham and Pirtek Team Murray made a splash with their efforts in the remarkable 100th running of the storied event.
The 2019 Indy 500 will be held early in the morning (Australian time) of Monday, May 27 this year.
The Race Torque will run an extended analysis on the state of both NASCAR and IndyCar broadcasting arrangements in Australia later today.