It's for real.
The IndyCar Series will return to ABC-TV for five races in 2009, including the Indianapolis 500, but the rest of the races will move from ESPN and ESPN2 to Versus, series and television officials confirmed Wednesday.(Thanks to Bash for being the first of many to send this to the Inbox.)
Versus, which is owned by Comcast and is home to the NHL and the Tour de France, will carry a minimum of 13 races next year in a multiyear agreement.
The IndyCar Series is counting on additional programming on Versus, including pre- and post-race shows, extended broadcasts and specialty shows that will be detailed today in a teleconference.
(MORE from IndyStar.com)
UPDATE: From IndyCar.com.
The multi-year partnership with VERSUS calls for the network to televise at least 13 races per year for the next 10 years, with each telecast lasting a minimum of three hours and includes extended pre-race coverage. VERSUS also will air a one-hour preview show the day before each race that will feature qualification highlights and all of the relevant IndyCar Series stories of that weekend. Additionally, the network will feature extensive coverage of all the qualification days at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway leading up to the Indianapolis 500.
VERSUS will feature at least 10 hours of IndyCar Series ancillary programming each season focused on the drivers, teams and tracks as well as allowing for extensive coverage of the Centennial Celebration at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Further, VERSUS will have IndyCar Series re-airs in the week following every race as well as the Firestone Indy Lights schedule highlighted in weekly 30-minute telecasts.