Indianapolis 500 MCA closed-circuit broadcasts (partially lost racing footage; 1964-1970)
Between 1964 and 1970, the Music Corporation of America (MCA) produced closed-circuit broadcasts of the Indianapolis 500. They were shown live throughout the United States in theaters, auditoriums and other public venues.
Each year, Charlie Brockman served as the anchor. For the 1965 race, two-time winner Rodger Ward (who failed to qualify that year) was a color commentator. Each year was also broadcast in black and white.
For years, none of the broadcasts had surfaced and it was widely assumed that they were not recorded, or if they were, they no longer existed. The only footage of them that existed was a commercial for the 1965 broadcast (which unfortunately had a watermark for a website over the middle of the frame).
However, in late 2015, YouTube user epaddon (who had received it from mscheeres) uploaded footage of the restart of the race (the race had a major crash at the start, causing it to be stopped and then restarted after the cars and debris were cleaned up) and the final 55 laps. The footage was missing audio for the first 18 minutes before the noise of car engines came in. The reason for there being no announcer audio is likely that the copy was one that was sent to foreign countries for broadcast there, with their own announcing. Epaddon simply synched audio from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network over the footage.
The footage for the 1965 race was used for the broadcast on ABC’s Wide World of Sports program. However, this broadcast has not resurfaced.
It is also possible that footage from the 1968 broadcast (and earlier years) was used in the 1969 film Winning, which was produced and distributed by Universal Studios (who was owned by MCA at the time). If this is the case, it could mean that the broadcasts were filmed in color but were broadcast in black and white.
- TrackForum thread where two users discuss acquiring footage
- TrackForum thread "Dumb question #5: The Indianapolis 500 broadcast in theaters?"
- TrackForum thread "When was the INDY 500 first televised?"
- TrackForum thread "Indy 500 closed-circuit broadcasts"
- TrackForum thread "Indy 500 Closed Circuit Broadcasts" (different thread than the one above)