via press release:
|NBC SPORTS GROUP BEGINS EXTENSIVE 2013 MOTORSPORTS COVERAGE THIS WEEK|
|More than 200 Total Hours of Formula One™ and IZOD IndyCar Series Programming to Air Across NBC and NBC Sports Network
F1’s Rolex Australian Grand Prix Drops Flag on Coverage This Sunday at 1:30 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Network
“Mimosas from Monaco” — Biggest Day in Racing Begins with Live Coverage of Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday, May 26 at 7:30 a.m. ET on NBC
NBC Sports Network to Televise Record 13 IZOD IndyCar Races in 2013
IndyCar Booth Features New Look
Motorsports Media Conference Call Set for Wednesday
|NEW YORK – March 11, 2013 – The NBC Sports Group will present its most extensive and comprehensive motorsports coverage ever in 2013, with more than 200 programming hours of Formula One™ and IZOD IndyCar races, practices, qualifying, pre- and post-race studio shows, and behind-the-scenes programs. Coverage will air across NBC, NBC Sports Network, and NBC Sports Live Extra, the NBC Sports Group’s live streaming platform, via TV Everywhere. Additionally, two F1™ races will air on CNBC, NBCUniversal’s business channel.
Formula One, which makes its NBC Sports Group debut this week on NBC Sports Network with the Rolex Australian Grand Prix, will air four races live on NBC, 13 on NBC Sports Network, and two on CNBC. The famed Monaco Grand Prix will air live on broadcast television at 7:30 a.m. ET on Sunday, May 26 on NBC.
NBC Sports Network, which has been the exclusive cable home for the IZOD IndyCar Series since 2009, will televise more Indy races this season than ever before. The addition of two “doubleheaders” to the schedule will result in NBC Sports Network televising 13 races this season, plus 12 Indy Lights races.
Programming for both open-wheel circuits will include significant shoulder content that is consistent with their unique brands. In addition, NBC Sports Digital will dedicate more motorsports coverage than ever. It will cover the entire racing industry with the recently launched MotorSportsTalk on NBCSports.com, and, later this year, it will live stream both circuits on NBC Sports Live Extra via TV Everywhere.
The 2013 Formula One World Championship schedule includes all 19 races in 19 countries from March through November, including 13 on NBC Sports Network, four on NBC and two on CNBC.
COMMENTATORS: As previously announced, NBC Sports Group’s F1 announce booth will feature lead race announcer Leigh Diffey, who will call both F1 and the IZOD IndyCar Series this year, veteran analyst and former racecar driver David Hobbs, and analyst Steve Matchett, a former race mechanic for the Benetton F1 team, including two years with seven-time Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher.
Rounding out the team is Will Buxton, an F1 insider and former journalist, who will serve as the team’s on-site reporter. Respected by fans and critics alike, Diffey, Hobbs, Matchett and Buxton bring continuity to each telecast, as all four worked together for several years previously on SPEED’s coverage of the circuit.
ON-SITE: It is estimated that Buxton will travel more than 115,000 miles this season while covering all 19 races in 19 countries.
MIMOSAS FROM MONACO: Sunday, May 26 can arguably be called ‘the biggest day in racing’ as it features three of sport’s most famous races from three different circuits — the Monaco Grand Prix (Formula One), the Indy 500 (IndyCar) and the Coca-Cola 600 (NASCAR).
This year, the day will begin with live coverage of the famed Monaco Grand Prix on broadcast television when NBC airs the race at 7:30 a.m. ET. The entire NBC Sports F1 studio team will join Buxton on site to capture the unique glitz-and-glamor atmosphere of the Monaco Grand Prix.
NBC GRAND PRIXES: NBC will provide F1 with unprecedented exposure this year as it airs four races in 2013. In addition to Monaco, races scheduled to air on NBC are the Canadian Grand Prix (Montreal) on Sunday, June 9, the United States Grand Prix (Austin, Texas) on Sunday, November 17, and the final race of the season, the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday, Nov 24. The NBC Sports F1 studio team will also be on site for live coverage of the Montreal and Austin races.
Due to scheduling conflicts, CNBC, NBCUniversal’s fully-distributed business channel, will air the Grand Prixes from the United Kingdom and Germany.
F1 EXTRA: NBC Sports Network’s post-race show, F1 Extra, will air live after every NBC Sports Network and CNBC race, as well as the Monaco NBC race. Post-race coverage for Canada, USA and Brazil will air on NBC. The 30-minute wrap-up show will be handled by the F1 team of Diffey, Hobbs, Matchett and Buxton.
F1 36: Three-time defending Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel will be the first driver profiled in the first-ever episode of F1 36, airing Friday, March 29 at 7 p.m. ET. F1 36 is the latest in the NBC Sports Group’s original behind-the-scenes 36 series, which gives viewers an all-access pass into the life of world-class athletes. For each episode, cameras will follow a F1 driver for 36 hours, providing a behind-the-scenes look at their on- and off-track activities. The all-access 36 series, which is produced by IMS Productions, also includes NHL 36, Fight Night 36, IndyCar 36 and MLS 36.
PRACTICE, QUALIFYING & RE-AIRS: NBC Sports Network will offer extensive coverage of F1 practice and qualifying throughout the season. The network will also offer a re-air of the race, often in the early afternoon, allowing viewers to enjoy coverage during a more traditional sports-viewing time period.
ROLEX AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX: The first race of the season will air live from Australia on Sunday, March 17 on NBC Sports Network at 1:30 a.m. ET. The race will re-air at 1 p.m. ET. F1 action gets underway Friday, March 15 at 12 a.m. ET with the first practice session.
Following is this week’s coverage schedule for the Rolex Australian Grand Prix on NBC Sports Network:
2013 IZOD INDYCAR SERIES
A week after Formula One coverage begins, NBC Sports Network will start the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series on Sunday, March 24 in St. Petersburg, Fla. This year, the network will air a record 13 races live, the most in the channel’s four-year history as the cable home of IndyCar (up from nine in 2012). The increase is largely due to the innovative addition of two doubleheaders — in Toronto and Houston — which provide two races over two days from one location.
COMMENTATORS: NBC Sports Network’s coverage will feature a new look this year. Lead race announcer Leigh Diffey, in his first year covering the IndyCar Series, will be joined by returning race analyst and former NASCAR driver Wally Dallenbach, Jr. (analyst), and newcomer to the booth, IndyCar driver Townsend Bell.
Jon Beekhuis, an analyst who has also served at the network since 2009, will now report from pit road. A former CART driver (1989-92) and 1988 Indy Lights Champion, Beekhuis will be inside the race action, reporting minute-to-minute on what happens on the track.
Veterans Marty Snider and Kevin Lee will return this season as pit reporters, and will be joined by Robin Miller, the network’s IndyCar reporter.
RACES: NBC Sports Network’s schedule includes 13 races in three different countries (U.S., Canada, and Brazil), the first and last races of the year, as well as the popular Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
The season begins March 24 at Noon ET with the Honda Indy Grand Prix of St. Petersburg from St. Petersburg, Fla. Other race locations include: Barber, Ala., Long Beach, Calif., Sao Paulo, Brazil, Milwaukee, Wis., Mid-Ohio, Ohio, Sonoma, Calif., and Baltimore, Md.
QUALIFYING: NBC Sports Network will air 12 hours of Indianapolis 500 qualifying coverage. Also, on May 24 at 11 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Network will air five hours of live coverage of Carb Day, which includes the final practice for the Indy 500, the Indy Lights Freedom 100 and the Pit Stop Challenge.
The network will also air one-hour of qualifying coverage the day before each of its races. It will also replay race coverage the following day.
INDYCAR 36: NBC Sports Network will continue its all-access series IndyCar 36 in 2013. The first half-hour episode will feature Chip Ganassi driver Charlie Kimball on Saturday, May 4, at 6:30 p.m. ET. The original series is produced by IMS Productions and gives viewers an all-access pass into the life of a world-class driver in the middle of race season.
The cameras follow a driver for 36 hours during a race weekend providing a behind-the-scenes look at the on- and off-track activities of the stars of the IndyCar Series. The all-access 36 series includes NHL 36, Fight Night 36, F1 36, and MLS 36.
FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS: NBC Sports Network will air 12 one-hour telecasts of Firestone Indy Lights beginning with the 1.8-mile street course St. Petersburg, Fla., on March 24 at 11 a.m. ET, on NBC Sports Network. Additionally, there will be two new venues added to the series; the 2.5-milie Pocono Raceway oval, and the 1.7-mile, 10-turn temporary street course at Reliant Park in Houston. All Indy Lights races will be featured on event weekends to run in conjunction with and complement the IZOD IndyCar Series.
Firestone Indy Lights is the premier ladder series for drivers and teams striving to compete in the IZOD IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500. Primarily run in conjunction with the IZOD IndyCar Series, the Firestone Indy Lights schedule features races on road courses/street circuits and ovals, including the famed 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
NBC SPORTS NETWORK’S SEASON OPENER COVERAGE FROM ST. PETERSBURG (subject to change, all times ET):
MOTORSPORTSTALK: NBC Sports Digital has added MotorSportsTalk (@MotorSportsTalk) to the already established SportsTalk franchises on NBCSports.com. The site brings racing fans up-to-the-minute news, video and information on the Formula One, IZOD IndyCar Series, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and all other motorsports racing from around the world. The site will also serve as the destination for all news, analysis and video from NBC and NBC Sports Network productions of F1 and IndyCar, including contributions from on-air commentators.
MotorSportsTalk’s content will be provided by top racing journalists and expert analysts, including:
SOCIAL: Follow @MotorsportsTalk, @F1onNBCSports and @NBCSN on Twitter and “like” Facebook.com/NBC Sports for the most up-to-date news, videos and commentary about Formula One and IndyCar on NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network.
NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA: Beginning later this year, NBC Sports Live Extra, the NBC Sports Group’s live streaming platform, will live stream F1 and IndyCar races via TV Everywhere.