American Le Mans Series signs deal with ESPN

If you're a fan of sports car racing, this news is for you: The American Le Mans Series is going to be on ABC and ESPN2 in 2011.

Coverage on the television networks will be on a delayed basis for many of the series' events.

The core of the ALMS’ new broadcast and digital package will deliver television coverage either on ABC or ESPN2. ABC will feature race telecast coverage on March 20 after the 59th running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida with remaining ABC broadcasts featuring Road America (August), Baltimore (September) and the season-ending Petit Le Mans (October). ESPN2 will feature the American Le Mans Series in two-hour telecasts from Long Beach (April), Lime Rock and Mosport (July), Mid-Ohio (August) and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (September). All four ABC race telecasts will receive an encore airing on ESPN2 as part of the new agreement.

All ALMS races will be streamed live on ESPN3, which is available on XBox Live and to customers with certain internet providers, streamed NHRA races like the U.S. Nationals and the final race of the season live last year.

The deal with ESPN allows the ALMS to branch out, as it's stil largely a niche racing series. However, it is interesting to note that the series claims to have doubled their Nielsen ratings in the 18-34 age demographic over the last two years.