IndyCar has announced a new media rights package with NBC Sports Group beginning in 2019 that will bring eight IndyCar series races to NBC, including the Indy 500, which ABC had broadcast since 1965. That relationship had been the longest between a major sporting event and a broadcast network in American history.
The eight races on NBC will mark an increase from five races on broadcast television this season, whose coverage is being split between NBC and ABC. The rest of the series starting in 2019 will be broadcast on NBCSN, which has seen its average viewership of IndyCar races increase 78 percent over the past four years.
In addition, a significant amount of Verizon IndyCar Series content will be provided through NBC Sports Gold, a direct-to-consumer product. Subscribers will be able to choose the content they view and how and when they access it. The service will provide feeds not available on any other platform, including practice and qualifying sessions that are not televised live. All 2019 IndyCar races will also be streamed live on NBCsports.com and the NBC Sports app to subscribers.
“This arrangement brings all of IndyCar to one home, increases our exposure and includes our first direct-to-consumer offer for our fans,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company, which owns IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “We couldn’t be happier to have start-to-finish coverage of IndyCar’s season with the NBC Sports Group.”
Starting in 2019, the Indianapolis 500 will be included in NBC Sports’ “Championship Season” marketing campaign, which features numerous championship events on NBC Sports from May to July. Other events include horse racing’s Triple Crown, The Players, Premier League Championship Sunday, the French Open, the Stanley Cup Final, the Tour de France and The Open Championship.
“We’re excited to have NBC Sports serve as the exclusive home of IndyCar, which represents the most competitive open-wheel racing in the world,” said Jon Miller, president of programming at NBC Sports. “We’re honored to bring the Indianapolis 500, one of the most prestigious events in all of sports, to NBC, further enhancing NBC Sports’ ‘Championship Season.'”