Fox Sports To Broadcast Formula E, United SportsCar | Edmunds

Fox Sports To Broadcast Formula E, United SportsCar

Just the Facts:
  • Fox Sports has signed rights deals with two new racing series that will launch in 2014.
  • The agreements are with the Formula E electric-car series and United SportsCar, America's new merged road racing series.
  • Fox is already a major player in motorsports with its NASCAR coverage.

LOS ANGELES — Fox Sports has signed a multi-year, international, multimedia deal with the new Formula E electric-powered racing championship and a five-year pact with United SportsCar Racing.

Formula E, scheduled to begin competition in late 2014, is sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, which also sanctions Formula 1. It will feature open-wheel, single-seat racing cars similar in appearance to present-day F1 cars. United SportsCar will be the merged single series that will include predecessors Grand Am Rolex and American Le Mans series.

Formula E has announced a schedule of 10 races on city street circuits in Europe, North and South America and Asia. Racing will begin in late 2014, with seasons extending past the New Year similar to hockey, basketball and other winter sports.

The United SportsCar schedule has not completed a schedule for its inaugural season, but it will begin with the Rolex 24 at Daytona, which kicks off Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway in late January or early February.

No financial terms of the deals were disclosed.

Both agreements were announced Friday.

"This series makes racing very relevant well into the future," said Carlos Martinez, president of Latin America for Fox International Channels, who helped broker the deal.

"With a global approach to acquiring knowledge and fast-tracking technology through the world of international racing competition, the FIA Formula E Championship is much more than just another weekend at the track," Martinez said. "It makes racing an integral part of solving one of the world's most daunting challenges and we are thrilled to be a part of that process."

The deal grants full U.S. television rights to the Fox family of networks, including traditional broadcast stations and cable venues including the new Fox Sports 1, which will launch August 17 as a rebranded version of Speed TV.

"America is a key market for electric cars and to show our races live in the U.S. will be central to promoting this type of mobility," said Alejandro Agag, CEO of championship promoter Formula E Holdings.

Edmunds says: The media package is critical in promotion of sports endeavors, and Formula E and United SportsCar have connected with an established player in that realm.

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