From the official Champ Car Site
INTERNATIONAL TELEVISION PACKAGE PROVIDING IMPROVED DELIVERY OF CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES ACTION TO WORLDWIDE FAN BASE
Tuesday, August 9, 2005
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (August 9, 2005) - The international flavor and diversity of the Champ Car World Series has never been as evident as it has been this season. Drivers from 13 different nations have competed in this year's Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford, attracting strong interest from around the world as demonstrated by international television ratings at the midpoint of the 2005 season.
In Canada, where Champ Car has three broadcast partners in Global, RDS and TSN, the 20th running of the Molson Indy Toronto, earned a 6.6 share on Global. In addition, the French-language broadcast on RDS attracted another 2.2 share for the Toronto event. One week later, the inaugural West Edmonton Mall Grand Prix of Edmonton earned a combined share of 6.3 on Global and RDS. The result was that nearly a half-million households tuned in throughout Canada for the two events.
Television audience numbers in Mexico have been encouraging as well with live broadcasts as well as one-hour highlight versions of Champ Car races also airing on TV Azteca. The Champ Car broadcasts averaged nearly 250,000 households and over 1 million viewers per event on Azteca 7 through the first half of the season with the live races drawing nearly 1.5 million viewers per event.
That looks to be pretty good numbers for Mexico, especially when taking into account that Mario Dominguez was the only Mexican driver for most of the races, and that Michel Jourdain Jr. with the highest name recognition of active drivers after Fernandez, bailed to the Busch series. Not only that, but most of the big Mexican sponsors like: Grupo Herdez, Cervezeria Montezuma (Tecate), Tiendas Gigante, Nextel Mexico, are gone.
Those Azteca numbers probably owe a lot to the Roshfrans series sponsorship, as the official lubricant of the series. They are very committed to use motorsports as a vehicle for marketing their product in Mexico, and buy a substantial amount of advertising in Mexican media. There is the additional good news that Grupo Modelo, the makers of Corona Beer, have also come back two races ago, and are on the sidepods for Rodolfo Lavin's entry.
Things might be looking up for the rest of Latin America too. where Fox with little fanfare has been showing the races. Champ Car just hired Mark S. Reilly to be the VP for Broadcast Sales and Distribution. While at ESPN, Reilly presided over the very succesful distribution deals to Europe, Japan and Mexico. Many Latin American fans remember that as the golden days of CART/Champ Car broadcasts with on-air personalities like Jorge El Hermano Peruano Koechlin and Marcelo Vivo. Hopefully Reilly will be able to put together a quality package that is seen all over Latin America.