NBC Sports to be exclusive home to IndyCar, Indy 500 in 2019

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NBC Sports Group and IndyCar announced a multi-year agreement Wednesday for NBC Sports to be the exclusive home for IndyCar and the Indianapolis 500 beginning in 2019.

The Indianapolis 500 and seven additional Verizon IndyCar Series races will be broadcast annually on NBC. The remaining races will be televised on NBCSN. All races will be live streamed to authenticated subscribers on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. With the agreement, NBC Sports also will present all IndyCar qualifying, practices and Indy Lights races across its platforms beginning in 2019. Details of NBC Sports’ 2019 IndyCar schedule will be announced at a later date.

“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.”

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

“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 Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “We couldn’t be happier to have start-to-finish coverage of IndyCar season with the NBC Sports Group.”

The 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500, set for Sunday, May 26, 2019, will be the first ever 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, including the Triple Crown, The PLAYERS, Premier League Championship Sunday, French Open, Stanley Cup Final, Tour de France, and The Open Championship.

The entire Verizon IndyCar Series will receive unprecedented marketing and promotional support from NBC Sports, which will utilize not only its own assets, but many NBCUniversal assets as well. With the Indy 500 and seven additional races on NBC, IndyCar will have the second-most races on broadcast television in all of motorsports.

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.

 

Dale Earnhardt Jr. to make NBC Sports debut with Super Bowl, Olympics coverage

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Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR’s 15-time most popular driver, will make his debut as a member of the NBC family with the network’s coverage of next month’s Super Bowl and the winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Earnhardt, who just retired after 18 full-time seasons in the Cup Series, will be part of NBC’s pre-game coverage of the Feb. 4 Super Bowl in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

While there, Earnhardt will take part in outdoor events and activities taking place in city leading up to kickoff.

Earnhardt will then travel to PyeongChang, where he will explore the culture, people, and traditions in South Korea and experience the Olympics first hand. Earnhardt will visit the speed skating venue at Gangneung Ice Arena, and through the lens of a racer will view the speed, close contact, and tight turns on the speed skating oval.

Following a recent invite on social media from the U.S. bobsled team, Earnhardt will also travel to the Alpensia Sliding Center where he will get to ride in an Olympic bobsled.

The XXIII Olympic Winter Games begin Feb. 8.

“I’m excited to get to work with my new NBC family,” Earnhardt said in a press release. “Beginning with two huge events like the Super Bowl and Olympics, right out of the gate, should be quite the introduction. I’m looking forward to raising the profile of NASCAR, and all that we’re going to be doing during the 2018 season.”

Earnhardt will be an analyst on NBC’s coverage of the NASCAR season. The NBC portion of the Cup schedule begins July 1 at Chicagoland Speedway on NBCSN.

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NBC video: Are NASCAR drivers athletes? Denny Hamlin explains why

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It’s one of the most asked questions in NASCAR: Are drivers really athletes?

Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards and several others are featured in this NBC Sports digital short video.

“NASCAR drivers are all athletes,” Hamlin said emphatically.

He points out that with temperatures often over 100 degrees inside a car, drivers can lose up to 10 pounds of sweat during the course of a race, and drivers also maintain the same heart rate as marathon runners.

By the numbers: NBC’s return to NASCAR logged plenty of hours, miles

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It was a busy 20-plus weeks that marked NBC’s return to NASCAR coverage in 2015.

To mark Friday’s official end of the season – the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards banquet (to be televised at 9 pm ET from Las Vegas on NBCSN) – the NBC Sports Group on Monday put out a release that presented some rather interesting numbers of the season that was:

2: NASCAR champions crowned on NBC

19: NASCAR Xfinity Series races on NBC and NBCSN

20: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races on NBC and NBCSN

21: Consecutive weeks of NASCAR Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series race coverage

22: States visited while providing Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series race coverage

363: Total hours of live trackside coverage across NBC, NBCSN and CNBC

206: Total hours of non-trackside NASCAR coverage on NBCSN

569: Total hours of NASCAR programming in 2015

3,370: NASCAR Xfinity Series race laps covered on NBC and NBCSN

4,559.75: Total miles of NASCAR Xfinity Series races on NBC and NBCSN

5,696: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race laps covered on NBC and NBCSN

7,548.21: Total miles of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races on NBC and NBCSN

15,196: Miles traveled by NBC Sports Group’s NASCAR mobile production convoy covering races on NBC and NBCSN

84,000: Unique users who watched 2015 Sprint Cup Championship from Miami on NBC Sports Live Extra

12,400,000: Number of TV viewers watching as Kyle Busch captured the Ford EcoBoost 400 checkered flag and the 2015 Sprint Cup Championship on NBC

 

Watch Live: Tony Stewart press conference today at 1 pm ET

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If you’re a big Tony Stewart fan, or are just curious about what today’s 1 pm ET press conference will be about, you can catch it live on NBC Sports’ Livestream.

Click here to get access to the live stream.