NBC Sports Grabs Indianapolis 500 Rights From ABC After 54 Years

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"IndyCar this morning formally unveiled its new media-rights deal with NBC Sports Group, which will be the series" sole broadcaster starting next season.

Portions of NBC's IndyCar coverage will be place in its gold package, a direct-to-consumer subscription-based service.

This arrangement brings all of INDYCAR to one home, increases our exposure and includes our first direct-to-consumer offer for our fans. IndyCar and NBC Sports Group announced they have come to terms on a 3-year media rights partnership. During this period, ABC was the only network permitted to air races on broadcast television.

The new broadcast package includes streaming rights to IndyCar races. In addition, NBC Sports will carry seven additional Verizon IndyCar Series races on NBC, with all remaining races televised on NBCSN, said NBC Sports. Although NBC has lost Formula 1 broadcasting rights to ESPN for 2018, recent moves have placed the network in a positive position for the future.

The Indianapolis 500, one of the best-known races in motorsports, will appear on NBC in 2019, as part of the switch, marking the first time since 1965 that the race will not be broadcast on the Walt Disney-owned network.

All races will reportedly be streamed lived to subscribers on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

Jon Miller, president of programming for NBC Sports Group, called the Indy 500 "one of the great jewels in all of sports" and said he was thrilled the network has been "entrusted" with the iconic event.

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Earlier this month, INDYCAR officially debuted its new vehicle to rave reviews in the season-opening race in St. Petersburg, Florida, with close racing and a record number of passes around the 1.8-mile temporary street circuit.

ABC's coverage of the Indy 500 was the second-longest sports TV partnership in history, only behind CBS's partnership with the Masters, which started in 1956.

The release notes: "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".

"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", Burke Magnus, ESPN EVP Programming and Scheduling in a statement.

With an average draw of 502,000 viewers, a year ago marked the second most-watched IndyCar season on NBCSN.

Are you excited to see races on NBC and NBCSN in 2019?

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