ESS acquires 3-year A1 Grand Prix rights; Anil Kapoor to promote Team India

MUMBAI: ESPN Star Sports has acquired the newly launched motor sports event, the A-1 Grand Prix. The broadcaster has signed a three year agreement with the organizers for this FIA approved, 'World Cup of Motor Sport'.

Bollywood star Anil Kapoor will be closely involved in the publicity of 'Team India', one of the participating teams in A-1. List of franchise owners for A-1 Grand Prix has big names from the world of show business and sports like football players Ronaldo and Figo who own the Brazilian and Portuguese franchisees, stated an official release.

Under the terms of the agreement, ESS will deliver live & exclusive coverage of the entire A-1 Grand Prix. The inaugural A1 racing calendar will feature 21 teams across the world in 12 races, starting from September 24, 2005. A-1 acquisition, combined with other leading motor sports properties like F-1 and Moto GP, places ESPN STAR Sports firmly in the driver's seat vis-?-vis motor sports programming, the channel claimed in the media release.

According to ESS MD R C Venkateish, "ESPN STAR Sports has delivered exciting motor sorts properties for its viewers in India. We have increased the popularity of motor sports through constant marketing initiatives. With A-1 our motorsports offering will become significantly powerful. A-1 will draw a lot of audiences, and in a hurry, as A-1 is uniquely positioned because of the unprecedented Asian involvement in terms of the teams and race venues and involvement of Anil Kapoor."


"We are delighted to be entering into a relationship with ESPN STAR Sports, to carry throughout the sub-continent and Asia, the inaugural A1 Grand Prix Series. ESPN STAR Sports will ensure that the excitement and spectacle of nation versus nation, open wheel racing is conveyed to the broadest possible audience in the region", A1 Grand Prix's founder, president and chairman Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Al Maktoum said.

A1 Grand Prix, an FIA (Federation Internationale Del'Automobile) approved international racing series will add a new dimension to the world of motor sport. Drivers from 21 teams will be racing for the pride of their countries. Each participating A1 team will have owners, drivers and sponsors representing a particular nation. Drivers will compete in cars with identical engine configurations. For the first time in the history of motor racing, India will compete with archrivals Pakistan on the motor racing circuit. Besides the two countries, Asia will be represented by China & Malaysia, the release added.

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