The NBC Sports Group and INDYCAR have announced a multiyear agreement that will see NBC and NBCSN combine as the lone home of Verizon IndyCar Series television coverage beginning in 2019.
As a highlight of the heightened partnership, which began in 2009, eight IndyCar races will be shown live on NBC next year, marking an increase from five races shown on broadcast TV this year. The 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500, the first to be broadcast on a network other than ABC since 1965, will be included in that group of eight races, along with its qualifications.
In an effort to increase exposure of North America’s premier open-wheel championship, the Indianapolis 500 will be included in NBC Sports’ “Championship Season” marketing campaign which highlights major events broadcast on NBC Sports from May to July. As a result, the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” will be marketed on equal footing with horse racing’s Triple Crown, The PLAYERS Championship, Premier League Championship Sunday plus the French Open, Stanley Cup Final, Tour de France and The Open Championship.
Beyond the Indy 500 and the seven other to-be-named races on NBC, all other IndyCar events will be on NBCSN, which has seen its average viewership of the series increase by 78 percent over the past four years.
Additionally, INDYCAR will be delivered for its first time in direct-to-consumer fashion next year when it debuts on NBC Sports Gold, a subscription-based service created for passionate fans seeking extra content. All practice and qualifying sessions will be streamed live behind this paywall — even if they’re being shown live on NBC or NBCSN — along with Indy Lights races, INDYCAR’s championship celebration, Miller Lite Carb Day and more.
Previously, untelevised IndyCar practice and qualifying sessions plus most Mazda Road to Indy outings were streamed live on YouTube by INDYCAR with audio from INDYCAR Radio. Despite no longer being accessible for free, coverage of these sessions will be produced by NBC and therefore will be more consistent in feel with the network’s race broadcasts.
With a cable subscription, all IndyCar races will be streamed live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.
NBCSN will carry its first IndyCar race of this season beginning at 9 p.m. EDT on April 7 from ISM Raceway near Phoenix.