DirecTv and Versus End Holdout, Reach Deal to Extend Programming

Ryan WordenFeatured ColumnistMarch 19, 2010

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - MARCH 14:  Scott Dixon of New Zealand drives the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara Honda during the IRL IndyCar Series Sao Paulo Indy 300 on March 14, 2010 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

IndyCar, MMA, NHL, college football, and Tour De France fans can rejoice today, as the long stalemate between the Versus broadcast network and DirecTv has finally ended.  A deal was worked out where Versus can be seen on regular DirecTv programming, featured on channel 603.

Versus was the recent host of the start of the 2010 Izod IndyCar Series, which aired last Sunday to a viewing audience that was 30 percent larger than the opening race in 2009.  This increase was despite not having the channel available on the popular satellite provider during the 2009 season. 

The network peaked with a 0.6 rating during the race, averaging a 0.4 during the entire event.  Versus provided solid coverage during the 2009 season, but the switch from ESPN to the smaller cable network saw a general decrease in the overall ratings for the series.  With an established broadcast team and greater availability, the Izod IndyCar Series and Versus are hoping for better ratings, giving advertisers more bang for their buck. 

The series will hold its second race from the streets of St. Petersburg on March 28.  The street race will mark the 2010 debut of ABC's coverage of the Izod IndyCar Series, as the race will get underway around 3:30 PM that Sunday.  Versus coverage will return with the inaugural Grand Prix of Alabama from Barber Motorsports Park on April 11.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like