ABC TV has a lock on the live telecast of the Indianapolis 500. This year will be the 45th consecutive year the American network will carry the race. ESPN on ABC’s telecast will be in high definition. For the first time ESPN is carrying the entire visual feed – worldwide included. There will be no middle-man this year. Last year there were ten ESPN cameras augmenting the IMS (Indianapolis Motor Speedway Productions) pool feed for the universal field. All visual elements are under the control of ESPN, and Motorsports Producer, NEIL GOLDBERG, says this means no excuses.
What the Americans see will be the same as that seen by viewers in the 213 other countries and territories, reaching 292 million people, plus the American Forces Network serving US troops abroad and on naval vessels. There will be an English language audio feed, as well as several international languages. This year the English version will be the same wherever it is broadcast, rather than having a separate English version for other countries as it was in years past. The only folks who won’t see the race live will be those in the Indianapolis area, as the show is blacked out and shown later in the evening.
There will be 59 cameras including thirteen 360-degree rotating on-board cameras mounted behind the drivers. For the second year, there will be the front stretch pit lane cable camera which can get up to 80 mph. This track cam, which has full-panning capability, can stop on a dime and reverse direction instantly, to cover pit stops.
Overseeing and running this massive production, which involves 300 people on site in the TV compound and out and about the course is ESPN Senior Motorsports Producer, Goldberg. He is like an energized air traffic controller on steroids, filtering all his input coming from the reporters, announcers, spotters and broadcasters. He said “I surround myself with the greatest people and I use them. Part of doing a good job in presenting cinematography is to know when to use all this vast technology, not just throw everything out there. We have to pay attention to the entire race, not just who’s running out in front.”
Goldberg works in the production truck, with earphones on one ear listening to all those voices, and keeps the other ear available for what’s going on in the truck…with pen in hand. At any given moment he has 15 voices vying for his attention, feeding him information. They’ve learned how to communicate quickly. He is the ultimate multi-tasker, a skill he has and has cultivated. He learned from TERRY LINGNER, who previously had produced indy car broadcasts and has now moved to VERSUS for the IRL coverage. Besides the ABC IndyCar shows, Goldberg works the second half of the NASCAR season, handling all those ESPN telecasts.
In the booth, MARTY REID will call the Indy 500; with analysts EDDIE CHEEVER, who won the 1988 Indy 500; and former IndyCar racer, SCOTT GOODYEAR.
The Pit Reporters are JAMIE LITTLE, BRIENNE PEDIGO, VINCE WELCH, and JACK ARUTE, covering his twenty-fifth consecutive Indy 500. BRENT MUSBERGER will host the telecast.
ABC is also televising IndyCar races at The Milwaukee Mile, Iowa Speedway, Watkins Glen International and Toronto. All the other IRL races are televised live, with additional content and features, on VERSUS.
Sunday’s live coverage on ABC starts at noon EDT.