Sunday, May 30, 2010
Live Blogging Indy 500 (12PM - ABC)
Every year we live blog the Indy 500 because there is simply nothing else like it. Over the past several years the event has seen its ups and downs, but this year the race has come roaring back into the global spotlight.
ABC goes on the air at 12PM ET with a fast-paced one hour pre-race show. Unlike NASCAR, this program is actively coordinated with IndyCar and contains several elements including live driver introductions.
Here is what ESPN put out to the media about the coverage:
Brent Musburger hosts the telecast, while Marty Reid will call the race with analysis by former IZOD IndyCar Series star Scott Goodyear and 1998 Indy 500 winner Eddie Cheever. Reporting from the pits will be Rick DeBruhl, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch.
ESPN will use 59 cameras to televise the race fully in high definition, including a 360-degree rotating onboard camera mounted behind the driver on multiple cars. Unique views will be provided by Track Cam, a high definition camera running on a cable over pit road and the frontstretch that can move at more than 80 mph. All 33 cars will carry GPS boxes for the Sportvision RaceFX system to provide telemetry and pointers to help identify the cars for viewers. And ESPN will use a radio replay system that can record, playback and edit radios from any of the 33 drivers.
The one-hour pre-race show will include interviews with many of the 33 starting drivers as well as special features, including a look at the up-and-down past year of polesitter and defending race winner Helio Castroneves, from beating tax evasion charges to winning Indy to becoming a father. Ryan Hunter-Reay is featured in an ESPN Sports Science piece comparing driving an IndyCar to flying a fighter jet and drivers who have and have not won at Indy talk about the Blueprint for Success at the famous track. ABC Good Morning America host Robin Roberts, the pace car driver for the Indy 500, conducted a unique sit-down interview with Danica Patrick that will appear both on GMA and in the pre-race show and another feature looks back on ABC’s 46 years at Indy with on-camera interviews with some of the iconic announcers who were part of the history. The telecast also will include a Memorial Day tribute salute to veterans.
ESPN International’s networks and syndication of the Indy 500 will reach more than 252 million households. In addition, U.S. troops serving overseas and on Navy vessels around the world will watch via a broadcast agreement between ESPN and the American Forces Network, bringing the total to 213 countries and territories.
How about that for an attention-getter? ESPN's NASCAR team plays a prominent role in this special live event. Punch returning to Indy for the first time in many years is a great story. Marty Reid has also been putting in solid work on the NASCAR trail and he is tuned-up for this one.
Indy is a mix of strategy, luck and skill. Racing is done on the straightaways and simple mistakes can cause disaster in the corners. Translating this to TV has always been a challenge. Wideshots down the straights have served to be the most efficient camera angle for decades. Restarts in this series often tell the tale.
This post will serve to host your comments about the ABC coverage of the Indy 500. To add your comment, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.