DECEMBER 5, 2000
The power of television in the sport
THE ever-increasing importance of motor racing as a media business rather than as a sport has been highlighted in recent hours not only by Leo Kirch decision to buy into the Formula One group of companies but also by the announcement from the United States of America that CART has taken on a new chief executive in Joseph Heitzler, a former TV executive with CBS Sports. The 56-year-old replaces Bobby Rahal, who has now taken up his role as chief executive of the Jaguar Racing Formula 1 team. For the last couple of years Heitzler has been running the National Mobile Television Productions company, which provides mobile broadcasting facilities for a vast range of sporting events across the United States. In recent years NMTP has acquired ABC Sports's production facilities and Britain's CTV which is involved in the televising of F1 races. Prior to that he ran his own TV production company after a career as an executive with CBS Sports.