Sky, the prominent European broadcast operation, has struck an exclusive rights deal in several key markets on the continent for US motor racing’s popular IndyCar series until the end of 2024, the network’s German arm has announced.
The three-year deal, which starts with the beginning of the 2022 season next spring and was sealed late last week, covers Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Ireland and the UK.
It represents an extension in the UK and Ireland (where races have been shown on the Sky Sports F1 channel since 2019), but a new acquisition in Italy and the DACH German-speaking countries.
DAZN, the over-the-top sports subscription broadcaster, held IndyCar rights in Italy this year, while in Germany, Austria and Italy, commercial network Sport1 has been the home of the motor racing series during 2021.
As well as live coverage of IndyCar action and post-race highlights, Sky has said the new deal includes “extensive exploitation rights for numerous other content, such as highlight clips or archive material.”
The deal covers linear TV, cable and satellite, as well as digital, live-streaming, and mobile rights.
It has ensured that next year, Sky will hold rights to both IndyCar and the prestigious Formula 1 motor racing series in Germany, Italy and the UK.
Charly Classen, executive vice-president of sport for Sky Deutschland, the broadcaster’s German arm, has said: “With the NTT IndyCar Series, we have secured the exclusive rights to the largest motorsport series in the USA, which also has a large fan base in Europe.”
“The racing series is a perfect addition to our strong motorsport range.”
The 2022 IndyCar season will start on 27 February, with the St. Petersburg Grand Prix in Florida, and will end on 11 September at Laguna Seca Raceway in California.
Fans in countries without a broadcast deal in place for the series next year will be able to follow race action via the mobile IndyCar app.
The series took its international media rights in-house two years ago.
In July this year, NBC, the US national network extended its deal with the IndyCar organisers in a multi-year renewal.
IndyCar and NBC have been partners since 2009, with the arrangement becoming exclusive for NBC in 2019.
There will be a significant increase in main channel exposure next year, with 13 races to be shown on NBC and the remainder on USA Network and Peacock Premium, NBC’s over-the-top streaming service which launched last year.
IndyCar was expected to remain on NBC ever since rival national network CBS said in June that it would not be bidding for rights in the next cycle, with CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus telling media at that point that due to other sporting commitments, there was not enough space in its schedules.