Cosworth announces new “Cosworth Live on Air” program for IndyCar

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Cosworth continues to enhance its Verizon IndyCar Series presence, beyond its existing electronics and data presence, as it works to have a greater role in the series over the next couple years.

It’s looking to partner with an OEM to come back into the sport to power the cars, as was documented by MotorSportsTalk in February. It’s been in the news this week, as Chevrolet said it would welcome Cosworth power back.

Now, this week, Cosworth has confirmed a new “Cosworth Live on Air” program. Here’s the release from the company:

Cosworth, the world-renowned performance engineering and manufacturing group, has announced the launch of its Cosworth Live On Air system, which integrates with the Verizon INDYCAR14 app. This collaboration has the potential to revolutionize the racing experience for millions of race fans by providing immersive real-time data.

The launch of Cosworth Live on Air, at the third round of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series in Birmingham, Alabama, reaffirms and builds on Cosworth’s presence in the championship which dates back more than twenty years.

Cosworth technology already plays a crucial role in the Verizon IndyCar Series as the company provides electronics to series organizers as part of a scrutineering system. Cosworth electronics are fitted on all cars to enable the league to monitor data and ensure compliance to the regulations. The new Live on Air solution will use that existing infrastructure to take the racing experience to a whole new level for fans, teams and partners alike.

Each car is fitted with high bandwidth radio (WiMAX) and data capture electronics to deliver data from any channel on the car. Data is streamed continuously back to the pit complex, where it is used for the league’s timing and scoring that is also fed to teams and into the Verizon INDYCAR14 app.

The Verizon INDYCAR14 app, developed by Verizon and INDYCAR, uses data captured live during on-track action will be used to generate new, engaging and never-seen-before content for fans. Cosworth Live on Air supplies data to the Verizon INDYCAR14 app that enables promoters to fully immerse spectators, whether at the track or at home, into the thick of the racing action, delivering a motorsport experience like never before.

From Hal Reisgier, CEO, Cosworth Group Holdings: “We are excited to be providing Cosworth Live on Air to the Verizon IndyCar Series. We believe that this new technology has the potential to truly change how fans can interact and engage with motorsport. As social media and multi-screening becomes increasingly integrated into our daily lives, Cosworth Live on Air feeds into the technology that Verizon has been building to immerse fans fully into the race weekend experience.”

‘Game-changing’ multi-year agreement will take INDYCAR, NBC Sports ‘to the next level’


NEW YORK – As the fourth Nor’easter in three weeks bore down on the Big Apple, it was tough to spot people that were clearly in a good mood.

But Jon Miller, president of programming for NBC Sports and NBCSN, was clearly in a good mood.

On Wednesday morning at 10 am ET, we all found out why: NBC will become the exclusive home of the IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500, starting in 2019.

The new three-year deal not only makes “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” part of the network’s “Championship Season” – its collection of high-profile championship events from May to July – but also reaffirms NBC’s status as the home of motorsports television in the United States.

That status is something Miller doesn’t take for granted.

“It’s important people know that storytelling is in our DNA, and motorsports lends itself very well to storytelling,” Miller said as he, INDYCAR CEO Mark Miles and driver James Hinchcliffe made a snowy trek to the New York Stock Exchange to promote the deal on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.”

“We’ve had great success with the second half of the entire NASCAR season, and then we’ve had half of the IndyCar package [since 2009] … But we never had the real meat of the series and that didn’t set anybody up for success.

“Having the entire package of IndyCar now – all 17 races, qualifying, practice, you name it – really sets IndyCar on a strong path and solidifies NBC’s position as the home of motorsports. I think it becomes a property much like the Premier League, the NHL, and even the Olympics and the Triple Crown. We have 100 percent of the media opportunity and we can put all those great assets behind it.”

With the storm no doubt keeping some traders home, the floor of the NYSE was relatively subdued. But that made it no less important to be at the heart of Wall Street. Miles and his team are pursuing a new title sponsor for the IndyCar Series to replace Verizon, which will fully focus its efforts in the series with the powerhouse Team Penske going forward in 2019.

The new deal – which includes 8 races per year on the NBC network (with the remaining races going to NBCSN), live streaming of all races, and a direct-to-consumer package with NBC Sports Gold – gave Miles plenty to push for any potential backers. As for Hinchcliffe, he held his own nicely in an interview that also explored IndyCar’s global ambitions, the impact of technology on the sport, and of course, his spin around the ballroom on “Dancing with the Stars.”

On the ride back to 30 Rock, Miles was confident that NBC can play a big role in attracting a sponsor that can help the series keep growing.

“With respect to our work in finding the best title sponsor, it’s really important – and this has not been talked about much – but we expect to work with hand in glove with NBC’s sales,” he explained. “We have the opportunity to create packages which are both broadcast sponsorship and series sponsorship, I think, in a way that doesn’t come along very often.

“Usually, the media deal and the sponsorship deal doesn’t align like this, so we’re really excited about the offering we’ll have and the approach to the market we can take.”

Should the partnership with NBC bear fruit on that front and others, it will only add to the upswing that the IndyCar Series has had in recent years.

Hinchcliffe has been a witness to that. He entered the series in 2011, when it was trying to find its footing after the sport’s reunification three years earlier. After 13 years of CART vs. the Indy Racing League, getting everything back under one roof was not a smooth process.

But fast-forward seven years, and things have changed for the better. TV ratings and digital viewers have gone up. Race scheduling has become more stable and enhanced with the return of traditional open-wheel markets. And this year’s debut of the universal aero kit aims to pump up the action on the track, while also giving the cars a cleaner, meaner look.

Now, with NBC all in, Hinchcliffe is bullish on his sport’s future.

“This is a game-changing thing for us,” he declared. “If you look at the last four or five years, we’ve seen a steady growth in pretty much every measureable metric that there is – in a time where, globally, motorsports is in a bit of a downturn.

“The fact that IndyCar was able to rally against a global dip in motorsports interest, attendance, sponsorship – it speaks volumes to what we have been doing and this is just gonna take us to that next level.”