via press release:
VETERAN MOTORSPORTS VOICES LEIGH DIFFEY, DAVID HOBBS AND STEVE MATCHETT TO CALL FORMULA ONE™ FOR NBC SPORTS GROUP
New Team to Announce Grand Prix™ Races, Qualifying & Practice Sessions on NBC and NBC Sports Network Beginning in 2013
Diffey to Also Lead IZOD IndyCar Series Telecasts on NBC Sports Network
NEW YORK – Nov. 15, 2012 – Veteran motorsports voices Leigh Diffey (play-by-play), David Hobbs (analyst) and Steve Matchett (analyst) will form the new broadcast team for the NBC Sports Group’s Formula One™ coverage, which begins in March 2013. Additionally, Diffey will call IZOD IndyCar races on NBC Sports Network, following the retirement of legendary motorsports voice Bob Jenkins earlier this year.
Respected by fans and critics alike, Diffey, Hobbs and Matchett bring continuity to NBC Sports Group’s Formula One™ coverage, as all three have worked together for several years on SPEED’s coverage of the circuit. Diffey is a longtime Formula One™ voice who has called the series both in the U.S. and internationally. Motorsports Hall of Fame member Hobbs is a veteran commentator who draws on 30 years of racing experience, including stints in both F1™ and IndyCar. As a former F1™ mechanic, Matchett provides viewers with a unique and valuable technical perspective.
“We are privileged to add not one, not two, but three experienced and respected voices to our Formula One coverage,” said Sam Flood, Executive Producer, NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network. “Leigh, David and Steve are all gifted storytellers, who live and breathe F1. They will educate viewers with their unique perspectives, which have been formed from longtime careers spent either behind the wheel, in the pits or in the booth.”
In October, it was announced that NBC Sports Group will televise all F1™ races, as well as qualifying, practice sessions, studio shows and re-airs that amount to more than 100 hours of programming annually. NBC Sports Live Extra, available online at NBCSports.com, as well as on mobile and tablet apps, will serve as the Formula One™ live-stream platform.
MORE ABOUT DIFFEY, HOBBS & MATCHETT
International sports commentator Leigh Diffey will handle play-by-play for NBC Sports Group’s Formula One™ and IZOD IndyCar coverage in 2013. Diffey is a commentator for SPEED’s F1™ coverage, and is a regular host on SPEED Center and The Speed Report, the network's weekly wrap of motorsports news and results.
Prior to joining SPEED, Diffey covered F1™ and V8 Supercars for Australia’s Network Ten, and World Superbike Championship and World Rally Championship for BBC. Diffey has also covered other prominent races, including the American Le Mans Series, 24 Hours of Le Mans, MotoGP, GRAND-AM Rolex Sportscar Series, CART World Series, GP2 and NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide. Diffey has covered motorsports for FOX, SkySports and HDNet.
Diffey is a native of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, and currently lives in Charlotte, N.C. with his wife and two children.
Former British race car driver and Motorsports Hall of Fame member David Hobbs will join Diffey in the booth as a F1™ analyst. Hobbs’ television career is just as impressive as his racing career. He currently provides commentary for Formula One™ and GP2 races, Le Mans, Professional Sports Car and SCCA events, including the Trans-Am and World Sports Car for SPEED. He began his television career with CBS in 1976 covering 17 consecutive telecasts of the Daytona 500. He joined ESPN in 1987 to provide coverage for Formula One™, Le Mans and U.S. racing series.
During his 30-year racing career, Hobbs drove nearly every kind of race car, including sports cars, IndyCar and Formula One™. He has participated in the world’s top races, including four Indianapolis 500s, and amassed 22 wins in a seven-year Formula 5000 career, second on the all-time win list. Hobbs finished third in his Formula One™ Grand Prix debut and had three third place finishes at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Hobbs currently lives in Milwaukee, Wis., with his wife, Margaret, with whom he has two sons, Gregory and Guy. He has appeared in the movie Cars 2, as announcer “David Hobbscap”, a 1963 Jaguar from Hobbs' actual hometown of Royal Leamington Spa, England.
Steve Matchett will also be in the booth for Formula One™ coverage as an analyst. Matchett is currently a commentator for SPEED’s numerous Formula One™ programs co-hosting live Formula One™ practices, qualifying sessions, and races with Hobbs. Matchett also co-hosts Formula One Debrief, a review of the events of the preceding week's Grand Prix™, is a columnist for the network’s website specializing in engineering and technical discussion, and hosts Chalk Talk.
As a former mechanic working for the Benetton F1™ Team from 1990-1998, Matchett provides viewers with a totally unique perspective. Over his career, he has worked with F1™ drivers: Michael Schumacher, Nelson Piquet, Riccardo Patrese, Martin Brundle, Johnny Herbert, Gerhard Berger and Jean Alesi. He was also the technical editor for F1™ Racing Magazine for 10 years from 2000-2012.
Born in the United Kingdon, Matchett is the author of three books detailing various aspects of life in Formula One™, with a fourth in development.
ABOUT NBC SPORTS GROUP’S MOTORSPORTS COVERAGE
NBC Sports Group is one of the leading media companies for motorsports coverage in the U.S., providing more than 200 hours of programming annually across its broadcast, cable and digital platforms. Since 2009, NBC Sports Network has been the cable-television partner for the IZOD IndyCar Series, presenting as many as 10 races each year as well as qualifying, practice, Indy Lights and IndyCar 36 programming. Beginning in 2013, NBC Sports Group will be the exclusive U.S. media rights holder to all Formula 1™ Grand Prix races, qualifying and practice sessions on all platforms and devices. Races will air on NBC and NBC Sports Network, and will be live streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra. NBC Sports Group also airs Lucas Oil Motorsports, RacerTV, and motocross events.