CHAMPCAR/CART: CART debuts on Speed Channel with impressive numbers

Fastest Growing Sports Cable Network's Live Coverage from Monterrey, Mexico Tops ESPN's 2001 Season Average SPEED Channel proved itself fast out of the box, delivering a .53 rating on its first live race broadcast of a CART FedEx Championship ...

CHAMPCAR/CART: CART debuts on Speed Channel with impressive numbers

Fastest Growing Sports Cable Network's
Live Coverage from Monterrey, Mexico Tops ESPN's 2001 Season Average

SPEED Channel proved itself fast out of the box, delivering a .53 rating on its first live race broadcast of a CART FedEx Championship Series event -- the Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix on Sunday, March 10. The .53 rating is 18 percent higher than ESPN's 12-race season average of .45 in 2001.

"We are ecstatic with the effort put forth by SPEED Channel this past weekend in Monterrey," said CART President and CEO Christopher R. Pook. "They established an aggressive and positive tone in their first broadcast of FedEx Championship Series qualifying on Friday and managed to carry that momentum all the way through the race on Sunday. The insightful commentary and aggressive camera angles are welcome additions to CART Champ Car television coverage. The beauty of this is the fact that we're just scratching the surface with SPEED Channel, but the way the shows were presented drew rave reviews from virtually all corners. That we exceeded our average rating from last year is the icing on the cake."

SPEED Channel's .53 rating translates into 264,000 households, with prime time programming adding a .11 (56,000 HH) and late-night programming adding a .05 (25,000) for a cumulative rating of .69 or 345,000 households.

"The numbers are no surprise to any of us at SPEED Channel and we feel they are simply the starting point," said network President Jim Liberatore. "The sole focus of SPEED Channel is racing and speed. Consequently, when you combine expert analysis and production with some of the world's most exciting racing, positive results are inevitable.

"This summer, much speculation and many questions were asked about the SPEED Channel TV deal, and its impact on CART," Liberatore added. "After one week, a sold out crowd in Mexico and a larger audience watching the weekend CART programming than last year, it is safe to say we are off to a strong start in answering those questions. Our commitment to CART and to CART fans will be evident throughout the season."

CART qualifying on March 8-9 delivered a solid .20 (102,000 HH) and .28 (141,000 HH) in prime time, with SPEED's live race coverage topping ESPN2's NHL regular season game by nearly 40 percent (.38). SPEED Channel's ratings were up 179 percent over the same time period last year (.19).

SPEED Channel, the nation's fastest growing sports cable network, is the first and only 24-hour cable network devoted exclusively to motor sports and the human fascination for speed. In addition to extensive original NASCAR programming, SPEED Channel is home to much of the world's marquee racing events including CART, F1, Classic Cars, LeMans, the American LeMans Series, World Rally and car shows from around the globe. Currently seen in more than 50 million homes, SPEED Channel was acquired by Fox Cable Networks Group in July 2001.

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