List of Indianapolis 500 broadcasters
The Indianapolis 500 has been broadcast by ABC since 1965. It is currently one of the longest-running relationships between a sporting event and television network. In 2013, the race will be broadcast on ABC for the 49th consecutive year.
From 1965-1970, ABC televised a combination of filmed or taped recorded highlights of the race the following Saturday on Wide World of Sports. The broadcasts were anchored by Jim McKay. From 1971 to 1985, the Indianapolis 500 was shown on a same-day tape delay basis. Races were edited to a two or three hour broadcast, and shown in prime time. Starting in 1986, the race has been shown live in "flag-to-flag" coverage. Since 2007, the race has been aired in high definition.
The current television voice of the Indy 500 is Allen Bestwick, who was named to the role on January 2, 2014. From 2006-2013, Marty Reid called the race, but was released on September 29, 2013. On August 10, 2011, ABC extended their exclusive contract to carry the Indianapolis 500 through 2018.
- Starting in 1986, the race was shown for the first time live flag-to-flag coverage. The 1986 race, however, was delayed/postponed for six days due to rain.
- From 1988-1993 and again in 2001, and from 1994-1998 for both Indianapolis Motor Speedway races, ABC used the Alan Silvestri composed theme from the 1986 film The Delta Force for their Indianapolis 500 intros.
- From 1995 to 2006, live coverage of the Indianapolis 500 was seen under the umbrella title of ABC's Wide World of Sports.
- In 2007, the race was televised as an ESPN on ABC event, under the new policies enacted September 1, 2006 by the Walt Disney Company. Also for the 2007 race, Rusty Wallace and Jamie Little were Indianapolis 500-only broadcasters, and would not work the other IndyCar Series races.
Same-day tape delay coverage
- From 1971 to 1985, the Indianapolis 500 was shown on a same-day tape delay basis. Races were edited to a two or three hour broadcast, and shown in prime time. It was also blacked out in the Indianapolis market.
- In 1973, Jackie Stewart was scheduled to be the color commentator. The race however, was red flagged on Monday due to the Salt Walther crash, and rain delayed the start until Wednesday. Stewart was unable to stay for the race running on Wednesday, and Chris Economaki took his place.
- In 1971 Chris Schenkel was supposed to be the telecast host, but was injured when the pace car crashed coming into the pits at the start of the race.
Wide World of Sports coverage
- From 1964-1970, the Indianapolis 500 was shown live on closed-circuit television in theatres and other similar venues across the United States. All live closed circuit broadcasts were anchored by Charlie Brockman.
- Race commentary for ABC's Wide World of Sports broadcasts was recorded during post-production. During the actual running of the race, Jim McKay served as a roving reporter, recording interviews in the pits and garage area, which was edited into the broadcast.
Local live coverage
|Year||Network||host||Lap-by-lap announcer||Color commentators||Pit reporters|
|1950||WFBM||Earl Townsend||Earl Townsend||Dick Pittenger||Paul Roberts|
|1949||WFBM||Earl Townsend||Earl Townsend||Dick Pittenger
- The Indianapolis 500 was first broadcast on television from 1949-1950 on WFBM (now WRTV) in Indianapolis.
- "Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC". name. 2011-05-23. Retrieved 2010-06-02.
- "Marty Reid Fired: ESPN Replaces NASCAR, IndyCar Announcer After Nationwide Gaffe (VIDEO)". The Huffington Post. 2013-09-29. Retrieved 2013-09-29.
- "Indy 500 will remain on ABC into 2018". ESPN.com. 2011-08-10. Retrieved 2011-08-15.
- Indianapolis 500 (2000) home page at Hollywood.com
- The 83rd Indianapolis 500 (1999) home page at Hollywood.com
- Race was scheduled for Sunday May 25, but rain postponed the start until Monday May 26. After 15 laps were completed, rain resumed, and the conclusion of the race was held Tuesday May 27.
- 74th Indianapolis '500,' The (1990) home page at Hollywood.com
- The 73rd Indianapolis '500' (1989) home page at Hollywood.com
- The 72nd Indianapolis '500' (1988) home page at Hollywood.com
- Race was scheduled for Sunday May 25, but rain postponed the race until Monday. On Monday, rain continued, and the race was rescheduled and held Saturday May 31.
- The 70th Indianapolis 500 (1986) home page at Hollywood.com
- Johnson's Indy 500 - Indy on TV
- Fang's Bites: The Indy 500 On ABC
- Indianapolis 500 numbers game.
- Record Low Ratings For Indianapolis 500