Next month’s 2005 IndyCar Series races will feature continuous coverage of race action through all national commercial breaks with SIDE-BY-SIDE, a split screen of the race and commercials. (Photo courtesy ESPN)
The ESPN and ABC Sports telecasts of the first two 2005 IndyCar Series races will feature continuous coverage of race action through all national commercial breaks with SIDE-BY-SIDE, a split screen of the race and commercials. ESPN will debut the new approach during the season-opening Toyota Indy 300 from the Homestead-Miami Speedway March 6.
ABC Sports will use SIDE-BY-SIDE on the Indy 200 March 19 from the Phoenix International Raceway.
During national commercial breaks, viewers will see:
- A two-picture screen with the race action on the left and the advertiser's commercial with audio in a larger box to the right;
- A graphic above the race box displaying the names of the race leaders;
- A logo of the advertiser's respective commercial at the top of the screen.
The networks' five local commercial breaks during the entire race telecast will be full screen with no race coverage.
ESPN and ABC have received “enthusiastic and positive” responses from sponsors and IndyCar to the concept, said Ed Erhardt, president, ESPN and ABC Sports Customer Marketing and Sales.
Auto racing is unique because there are no set plays, stoppages or timeouts, so SIDE-BY-SIDE was a logical solution to presenting uninterrupted coverage, he said.