STAMFORD, Conn. – Buckle up, IndyCar fans, because the Verizon IndyCar Series has a single television home starting next season.
IndyCar confirmed Wednesday morning what had been rumored for weeks: that NBC Sports Group has signed a multi-year media rights agreement with the sanctioning body to present all Verizon IndyCar Series races, qualifying, practice sessions and Indy Lights races across its platforms beginning in 2019.
Most notably, the Indianapolis 500 and seven additional Verizon IndyCar Series races will be broadcast annually on NBC, with all remaining races televised on NBCSN. All races will also be live streamed to authenticated subscribers on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.
In addition, NBC Sports Gold – NBC Sports Group’s direct-to-consumer product – will offer a package to IndyCar fans that features all qualifying and practices not televised live, all Indy Lights races and full-event replays.
Additional details, including the cost of the Gold offering, will be announced at a later date.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“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 & Co., which owns IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “We couldn’t be happier to have start-to-finish coverage of IndyCar’s season with the NBC Sports Group.”
The Indianapolis 500 has been aired annually on ABC since 1965, and this year’s running of the Greatest Spectacle In Racing will put a bookend on 54 straight years of that partnership.
Belle Isle’s Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix doubleheader on June 2-3 will mark the final Indy car events broadcast on ABC as part of the outgoing television deal.
“ABC has been a fantastic partner, not only for the ‘500’ but for its broad coverage of the Verizon IndyCar Series,” Miles added. “That partnership will continue with the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 in May, and together, we look forward to the successful year ahead.”
“We have had a wonderful and rewarding relationship with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar, and it has been our distinct honor to be partners for so many years,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN Executive Vice President, Programming & Scheduling. “We look forward to the rest of our events this season and wish them all the best in the future.”
The Indy 500’s tenure on ABC marks the longest consecutive relationship between a major sporting event and a broadcast network in American history.
“The Indy 500 on ABC has been a Memorial Day weekend tradition for millions of viewers across several generations,” said Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles. “Together with ABC, we’ve shared many special and unforgettable moments with our fans across the globe. We’re grateful for the partnership and look forward to concluding it in fitting fashion with this May’s 102nd Running.”
“Then, we look ahead to years of great Indianapolis 500s on NBC. These are exciting times for the Indianapolis 500, which continues to show its strength as one of the world’s great annual events.”
Next year’s 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 – set for May 26, 2019 – will mark the first 500 to air on NBC.
The Indy 500 will also be included every year in NBC Sports’ Championship Season marketing campaign, which touts numerous high-profile championship events that are presented across NBC Sports platforms from May to July. Those include the 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, Programming, NBC Sports and NBCSN. “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.”
“We’ve seen consistent growth for IndyCar on NBCSN in the past decade, and we hope to continue that growth throughout the series by leveraging the television, digital, production and marketing assets that make NBC Sports a powerful media partner.”
The Associated Press reported Wednesday that the new deal is a three-year agreement.