TV Times – ISC Writes Off $50 Million From Licensed-Products In ’07
“While we are clearly disappointed in the magnitude of the [write-off], we continue to believe the sale of licensed merchandise represents a significant opportunity in the sport,” ISC Chief Financial Officer Susan Schandel said.
Motorsports Authentics, a 50-50 partnership between ISC and Speedway Motorsports, has laid off more than 20 percent of its staff and has changed certain operational procedures.
Motorsports Authentics will decrease the number of merchandise trailers at the track in the future and will use a more targeted apparel strategy, Schandel said.
The company blamed part of the losses on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s announcement that he was leaving Dale Earnhardt Inc. in May, as well as other driver movement for 2008 announced earlier than usual.
Schandel said ISC expects Earnhardt Jr. and others to sell more products next year when they move to new teams. This report came from SceneDaily.com and AutoRacingSport.com.
International Speedway Corp. warned of more trouble ahead for its ailing sportswear and collectibles business Wednesday but predicted its profits per share will climb 11 to 14 percent next year. “Speed Weeks should give the company a strong start for 2008″, said Lesa France Kennedy, president of the motorsports giant. This report also came from Scene Daily.com and AutoRacingSport.com.
Officials of the ARCA RE/MAX Series and SPEED have announced a four-year agreement under which SPEED will continue to televise ARCA RE/MAX Series events through 2011. “SPEED and ARCA have a strong relationship dating back to 1997,” said Rick Miner, Senior VP Production & Network Operations. “And in 2008, we look forward to continuing that relationship. The ARCA RE/MAX Series provides great racing with wonderful storylines, already scoring some of the best motorsports ratings on the network. With more live racing in 2008, we believe the fans will support this series like never before. We expect this to be a classic ‘win-win’ for ARCA and SPEED.” The agreement also calls for a minimum of 10 events to be aired each season with continued efforts to grow the number of televised races. The number of televised events in 2008 has already increased to 11.
SPEED’s coverage of the ARCA RE/MAX Series in 2008 begins at Daytona Int’l Speedway Saturday, February 9 with live, flag-to-flag coverage of the 45th Daytona ARCA 200 at 4:00 pm eastern, and concludes with the season championship finale at Toledo Speedway October 12. “The extension with our broadcast partners at SPEED will continue to provide fans of the ARCA RE/MAX Series a great opportunity to view the series from a variety of first-class venues,” said Mark Gundrum, ARCA VP of Marketing & Communications. “From the short-tracks of Toledo Speedway, to state of the art facilities like Kentucky, Nashville and Chicagoland, right up to the superspeedways of Daytona and Talladega, fans will get a unique look at the diversity in this series.”
ESPN on ABC will televise the Indianapolis 500 for the 44th year and ESPN will celebrate its 13th year of Indy Car Series coverage as two longstanding motorsports relationships continue in the upcoming 2008 season.
The entire 16-race season for the Indy Car Series will appear on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC. The 2008 television schedule includes seven events on both ESPN2 and ABC and two on ESPN. The networks also will cover Indianapolis 500 qualifying May 10-11 and 17-18.
“We look forward to another exciting season of Indy Car Series racing on our networks,” said John Wildhack, ESPN executive vice president, programming and acquisitions. “The series showed ratings growth in 2007 and we feel that the personalities of the drivers and the close, competitive racing are resonating with our viewers.”
The Indy Car Series season begins Saturday, Mar. 29, at Homestead-Miami Speedway with a prime time telecast on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. ET. The series concludes at Chicagoland Speedway Sunday, Sept. 7, at 3:30 p.m. on ABC. The 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500 airs Sunday, May 25, at noon on ABC.
Helio Castroneves, recent winner of “Dancing With the Stars” on ABC, is a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner and will compete in the full IndyCar Series schedule. Former series champions Tony Kanaan, Dan Wheldon, Scott Dixon and Scott Sharp are also expected to contest the full season along with young stars Danica Patrick and Marco Andretti.
The ESPN alliance dates back to the series’ inaugural 1996 event and with ABC’s’ first telecast of the Indianapolis 500 in 1965, a relationship that is the second-longest in sports between a network and sports property. Only CBS and The Masters have been together longer.
“ABC and ESPN have played a significant role in the advancement of the IndyCar Series,” said Terry Angstadt, president of the commercial division of the Indy Racing League, sanctioning body of the Indy Car Series. “With innovations, such as side-by-side and Sportvision, our broadcasts offer viewers a unique motorsports experience.”
Here’s some highlights of motorsports action on the tube next week. On Monday Speed offers the LeMans Endurance Series from Sao Paolo, Brazil at 3 p.m. At noon Tuesday Speed airs the Historic Auto Races from Monterey, CA. Wednesday offers more SCCA Runoffs from Topeka, KS starting at noon. ESPN-CL kicks in with an 11 a.m. airing of the NHRA Nationals from Vegas. More NHRA action airs Friday on ESPN-CL this time from Pomona, CA at 11 a.m. This Saturday the action picks up with Speed airing a noon time start of the German Touring cars from Brand Hatch followed by the Australian Touring Car Series events held at Hidden Valley then the event Oran Park. Sunday’s highlight is the Summer Shootout from Lowes Motor Speedway at noon on Speed. (end)
NOTE: INFORMATION FOR THIS COLUMN CAME FROM VARIOUS REFERENCED SOURCES, PRESS RELEASES, NOTES AND OTHER SOURCES.
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