IndyCar puts international rights sale on hold ahead of Alonso talks

IndyCar is delaying the sale of its international media rights until its teams and drivers for 2019 are confirmed, as ex-Formula One driver Fernando Alonso and Formula One manufacturer McLaren are strongly rumoured to join the series.

TV Sports Markets understands discussions between IndyCar and media-rights agencies began in March after IndyCar completed a new US rights deal with media company NBCUniversal, from 2019 to 2021.

IndyCar believes its international media rights would be worth significantly more should Alonso and McLaren compete from 2019. ESPN Media Distribution, which holds international rights to the series until the end of 2018, wants to retain its rights.

The IMG agency is also thought to have held discussions with IndyCar about taking the rights from 2019. Prior to the agency’s collapse, MP & Silva was also interested.