By: Tanner Watkins
November 5, 2018 | 2:02 PM
With the IndyCar Series increasing in popularity worldwide, Hulman & Company announced this morning that it will form INDYCAR Media. This branch of the company will become the “in-house global distribution arm of INDYCAR’s international media rights.”
“The IndyCar Series is experiencing a resurgence outside the U.S.,” said Mark Miles, the CEO of Hulman & Company. “For that reason, now is a particularly good time to do this. Controlling video content and media rights are essential to growth.”
Miles was certainly a leader in the efforts to create this devoted media branch for the American open-wheel racing series. His time spent with the ATP Tour in men’s professional tennis included the implementation of a similar program for which INDYCAR will follow as a blueprint moving forward.
In this updated arrangement, IMS Productions will continue to produce the world feed’s telecasts while INDYCAR Media will utilize IMS Productions to “facilitate technical aspects of the programming and use IMSP’s first-class production facilities and personnel to offer customized video content to the various international broadcasters for the first time.”
By having the flexibility to do all promotional material and tailor telecasts in-house, the partnership of INDYCAR Media and IMS Productions with foreign licensees will allow for broadcasts that suit their intended audiences.
“In the highest-priority countries, we will work more closely with our broadcast partners to define market-specific opportunities, and we will grow our international audiences by focusing on these specific needs,” Miles continued. “We can enhance the amount of video content by creating new clips or drawing from our extensive archives.”
Joining the fray will be Stephen Starks, the INDYCAR vice president of promoter and media partner relations. Starks will work with Miles in order to coordinate and manage INDYCAR’s resources in the search for international broadcast partners.
“We will define our most important global markets based on several factors, including the ability to support places where the INDYCAR following is already strong, by targeting nations represented among our diverse driver lineup, through focusing on countries where broadcasters are best at growing our audience, and by looking at where we might want to race in the future, to name a few,” Starks relayed.
“Because we have a baseline of where our content is in high demand, we have a clear direction.”
In the past, ESPN International has been the leading provider for IndyCar Series broadcasts outside of the United States. With the series moving on to NBC Sports for its American-based productions, it is unclear whether or not ESPN International is still in the running for global broadcast rights.
Starks also reported that arrangements will be made for international viewers before the season kicks off in St. Petersburg, Florida on March 10 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
Header image courtesy of Chris Owens/INDYCAR.