The 100th edition of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” will get the green flag live on ABC on May 29, marking the 52nd consecutive year for the network to broadcast the race. ESPN will lead up to its sister network’s race telecast with four live “SportsCenter on the Road” programs originating from IMS, as well as reports airing within other editions of the program. This will be “SportsCenter on the Road’s” first visit to IMS since ESPN launched the initiative in 2015 and will mark the first live “SportsCenter” programming from the Indy 500 in more than a decade.
In addition to previewing the premier race of the Verizon IndyCar Series with drivers, team owners and others, “SportsCenter” programs also will pay tribute to the long history of the Indianapolis 500 with guest appearances by past champions and special features.
The “SportsCenter” presence at the Indianapolis 500 will include two live one-hour programs on race morning, with hosts Matt Barrie and Sara Walsh on a set in the IMS Pagoda Plaza area. The first program will air from 8-9 a.m. ET on ESPN, while the second will air on ESPN from 10 a.m. until ABC’s telecast begins at 11 a.m. Barrie and Walsh will have live reports from IMS during the 9-10 a.m. hour while “SportsCenter” airs on ESPN2.
On May 28, the day before the race, Barrie and Walsh will host a three-hour edition of “SportsCenter on the Road” from IMS beginning at 9 a.m. ET on ESPN. The 6 p.m. ET May 27 edition of “SportsCenter,” hosted by Lindsay Czarniak, will also air from IMS on ESPN.
“When a sporting event as iconic as the Indianapolis 500 reaches its 100th version, it’s a testament to its appeal, stature and longevity,” said Michael Fountain, ESPN senior coordinating producer, “SportsCenter.” “If there is a major event, ‘SportsCenter’ will be there, and we look forward to bringing the excitement and pageantry of Indy to our viewers.”
In addition to the four live programs, other editions of “SportsCenter” will carry live reports, including segments with Czarniak in the 6 p.m. ET shows on May 25-26. After the race, the winner will have a live interview with “SportsCenter,” and Czarniak will have a “SportsCenter Sunday Conversation” with the winner that will air in the evening editions of the program.
Czarniak also will host the Indianapolis 500 pre-race show on ABC at 11 a.m. ET May 29. “SportsCenter” programming from IMS also will include contributions from ESPN reporters Marty Smith and Ryan McGee and other members of the ABC race coverage team.