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VERSUS, the exclusive cable television home of the IndyCar Series, will show more than 30 hours of live coverage of practice and qualifying for the 2009 Indianapolis 500 and will air a live post-race show featuring in-depth trackside analysis immediately following the race on May 24.
VERSUS kicked off the 2009 IndyCar Series season with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on April 5. The network’s first race garnered a .3 national HH rating and peaked at a .4 during the race’s final laps. The network’s race coverage was seen by more than two million viewers, while all of the IndyCar Series telecasts surrounding the first event of the 2009 season reached 3.4 million viewers.
VERSUS’ live May programming will include start-to-finish coverage from noon-6:30 p.m. (EDT) for each of the Indianapolis 500 qualifying days: Pole Day on May 9; Second Day Qualifying on May 10; Third Day Qualifying on May 16; and Bump Day on May 17. The network will also feature five hours of uninterrupted and continuous coverage of Miller Lite Carb Day from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. (EDT) on May 22. The network’s Carb Day coverage will feature the final one-hour practice for the 33-car Indianapolis 500 field, the annual Pit Stop Challenge and the Firestone Freedom 100 Firestone Indy Lights race.
“When we announced our partnership with the Indy Racing League, we vowed to give motorsports fans the most in-depth coverage of the IndyCar Series,” said Marc Fein, Executive Vice President of Programming, Production and Business Operations for VERSUS. “With more than 30 hours of live practice and qualifying coverage as well as a post-race show, we’re living up to that promise by delivering wall-to-wall coverage surrounding the league’s premier event.”
"We couldn't be happier with our opening week of race coverage on VERSUS," said Charlie Morgan, president & COO for IMS Productions. "VERSUS' commitment was to 'super-serve' IndyCar Series fans and based on the response we have seen from our fans they are thrilled with the amount and quality of coverage available to them throughout the weekend."
In addition to live coverage of qualifying and practice, the network will celebrate the rich history and excitement of the Indianapolis 500 with daily programming during race week including: Danica: Five Years Running (May 18); IndyCar Series: Top 10 Closest Finishes (May 19); IndyCar Series: Crashes and Conflicts (May 20); Top 10 Indy 500 Moments (May 21); Indy 500: Foyt, Mears & Unser (May 22); and highlights from the 53rd annual IPL Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade and a 30-minute preview show (May 23).
VERSUS’ INDY 500 COVERAGE SCHEDULE (All times ET, subject to change):
Date Time Event
Saturday, May 9 12-6:30 p.m. (LIVE) Pole Day
Sunday, May 10 12-6:30 p.m. (LIVE) 2nd Qualifying Day
Saturday, May 16 12-6:30 p.m. (LIVE) 3rd Qualifying Day
Sunday, May 17 12-6:30 p.m. (LIVE) Bump Day
Monday, May 18 4-5 p.m. Danica: Five Years Running
Tuesday, May 19 4-5 p.m. IndyCar Series Top 10 Closest Finishes
Wednesday, May 20 4-5 p.m. IndyCar Series Crashes and Conflicts
Thursday, May 21 4-4:30 p.m. Top 10 Indy 500 Moments
Friday, May 22 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. (LIVE) Miller Lite Carb Day
Friday, May 22 4-5 p.m. Indy 500: Foyt, Mears & Unser
Saturday, May 23 5-6:30 p.m. IPL Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade
Saturday, May 23 6:30-7 p.m. Indy 500 Preview Show
Sunday, May 24 4:30 p.m. (LIVE) Indy 500 Post-Race Show