ABC will open the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season with a live telecast of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Fla.) on Sunday, March 11, at 12:30 p.m. ET.
ESPN has signed SportsCenter anchor Nicole Briscoe to a new contract and given her some extra duty: hosting ABC’s telecast of the Indianapolis 500. Briscoe’s new multi-year deal will see her continuing as an anchor for SportsCenter, a position she’s been in since January of 2015. She recently moved from late night to daytime and … Read More
Lead F1 and IndyCar Play-by-Play Voice Leigh Diffey, Formula One Analyst David Hobbs, IndyCar Analyst Paul Tracy, and “The Mayor” of NASCAR Jeff Burton to Preview Sunday’s Motorsports Coverage on NBCSN
Sunday on NBCSN – F1 Italian Grand Prix at 7:30 a.m. ET, IndyCar Grand Prix at the Glen at 1:30 p.m. ET, NASCAR Cup Series Race at Darlington at 6 p.m. ET
Diffey to Call F1/IndyCar Doubleheader on Sunday
Dial 719-325-2140 to Participate
STAMFORD, Conn. – August 31, 2017 – NBC Sports Group’s lead Formula One and IndyCar play-by-play commentator Leigh Diffey, F1 analyst David Hobbs, IndyCar analyst Paul Tracy, and NASCAR analyst Jeff Burton will preview Sunday’s motorsports tripleheader on NBCSN – featuring live coverage of the F1 Italian Grand Prix, IndyCar Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, and NASCAR Cup Series race from Darlington Raceway – on a media conference call today, August 31, at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Media interested in participating should call 719-325-2140; passcode 7604813.
NBCSN’s motorsports tripleheader begins this Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET with the Formula One Italian Grand Prix, followed by the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix at the Glen at 1:30 p.m. ET, and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race from Darlington at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
Diffey will perform a rare broadcasting feat this weekend, handling live play-by-play duties of the F1 race from NBC Sports Group’s International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn., on Sunday morning, followed by a flight to Watkins Glen to handle play-by-play duties of the IndyCar race on-site on Sunday afternoon.
- WHAT: NBC Sports Sunday Motorsports Tripleheader Conference Call
- WHO: Leigh Diffey, David Hobbs, Paul Tracy, and Jeff Burton
- WHEN: Today, August 31, at 3:30 p.m. ET
- NUMBER: 719-325-2140
- PASSCODE: 7604813
– NBC SPORTS GROUP –
Continuing a Memorial Day weekend tradition that dates back to 1965, ABC will televise the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race on Sunday, May 28.
ABC will open the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season with a live telecast of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Fla.) on Sunday, March 12.
ABC’s telecast of the 100th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 29, will now air live across the entire United States with this morning’s announcement by Indianapolis Motor Speedway of the first complete sellout in the history of the iconic event.
With the sellout, the long-standing practice of blacking out the live television broadcast in Indianapolis has been lifted and Indianapolis ABC affiliate WRTV-TV will air the race live. WRTV-TV also will continue its traditional 7 p.m. ET re-air of the race telecast.
It will be only the third time that the race will be broadcast live on television in Central Indiana and the first time since 1950.
ABC, which is televising the Indianapolis 500 for the 52nd consecutive year, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway have one of the longest-running active relationships between a network and a sporting event, with the race first airing on ABC’s Wide World of Sports in 1965. ABC’s first live telecast was in 1986.
ABC’s telecast, which also will be streaming live on WatchESPN, begins at 11 a.m. ET. Full coverage details HERE.
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ESPN’s Production Includes 100 Cameras, ESPN3 Second-Screen Experience
With a record 100 cameras in use, ABC will televise the historic 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 29 at 11 a.m. ET. Annually one of ESPN’s largest and most complex television productions, the Indianapolis 500 telecast is even larger this year with the milestone of the 100th running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.
Airing on ABC for the 52nd consecutive year, and streaming live on WatchESPN for the first time, the telecast begins with a pre-race show at 11 a.m. and then polesitter James Hinchcliffe will lead the field of 33 to the green flag at 12:17 p.m. The race telecast of the premier event of the Verizon IndyCar Series is presented by Firestone.
“We’ve been pointing to the 100th Indianapolis 500 for a long time and now that it’s here, we’re more proud than ever to be associated with the Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” said Julie Sobieski, ESPN vice president, League Sports Programming. “Producing this telecast is a labor of love for our team and this will be our biggest year ever. We’re all really looking forward to Sunday.”
“100 cameras for the 100th” will include three onboard cameras per car in 12 of the 33 cars competing in the race. Also in use will be four Ultra Hi Motion cameras to enhance views and replays, with the cameras capable of shots around the entire 2.5-mile track as well as all of pit road. The cameras are capable of producing images up to 20 times slower than live action, allowing viewers to see detail not visible at regular speed.
The camera count also will include the use of aerial cameras located in a blimp and a helicopter and four robotic cameras with overhead views of the pits. Sound will be captured for viewers by 287 microphones, including 235 positioned around the racetrack and 26 mounted in race cars. Four uplinks and 16 transmission paths will be utilized and 170,000 feet of fiber cable will connect the equipment. Some 200 people will be part of the production.
Viewers of the ABC telecast will have the option of a second screen experience through a choice of live streaming video from the onboard cameras on ESPN3, which will carry the feeds exclusively through WatchESPN.
Drivers carrying onboard cameras during the race will be Hinchcliffe, defending 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya and 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon as well as Simon Pagenaud, Josef Newgarden, Will Power, Graham Rahal, Tony Kanaan, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti, Takuma Sato and Helio Castroneves. Castroneves will be trying to become only the fourth driver to win the race four times.
For the telecast, lead announcer Allen Bestwick will be joined in the booth for analysis by former series drivers Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever, with Goodyear in his 15th season as an analyst and Cheever his ninth. The announcer team also will include pit reporters Jon Beekhuis, Rick DeBruhl and Dr. Jerry Punch and ESPN SportsCenter anchor Lindsay Czarniak will host the pre-race show from the Speedway’s iconic Pagoda. Reporter Marty Smith will join the pre-race show and take viewers inside some of the activities going on around the track.
ESPN’s production of the race telecast will be led by senior coordinating producer Amy Rosenfeld and coordinating producer Kate Jackson, with Jim Gaiero producing and Bruce Watson directing. Jackson will produce the pre-race show with Chip Dean directing. ESPN senior coordinating producer Shawn Murphy, who produced the Indy 500 telecast the past three years, has been a special consultant for the production team.
Among the features that will air during the pre-race show or in ESPN SportsCenter’s Indianapolis 500 coverage:
- “Legends of the Speedway,” a roundtable discussion with the only four-time winners of the Indianapolis 500: A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears. Moderated by Allen Bestwick.
- In an ESPN Sport Science segment, driver Graham Rahal gives viewers a sense of the speeds and G-forces of the Indy 500 by driving his race car at speed and a passenger car at the highway speed limit around the 2.5-mile Speedway.
- How much have race cars used in the Indianapolis 500 evolved since the first race? The feature includes many cars from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.
- “Speed, Risk and Danger,” a graphical and animated looked at the danger zones of the track over the past 100 years.
- How big and fast is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway? The George Washington Bridge, two aircraft carriers and more venues can fit inside.
- A Memorial Day feature: Indiana natives who survived the Pearl Harbor attack on Dec. 7, 1941, recall the day.
ABC and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway have one of the longest-running active relationships between a network and a sporting event, with the event first airing on ABC’s Wide World of Sports in 1965. Weekend coverage of the Masters has aired on CBS since 1956 and ABC has aired the Little League World Series since 1963.
SportsCenter at the Indianapolis 500
ESPN’s signature news and information program SportsCenter will have an expanded presence at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.
Included will be two live one-hour programs on Sunday, May 29, the morning of the race, both airing on ESPN, with hosts Matt Barrie and Sara Walsh on a set in the Speedway’s busy Pagoda Plaza area. The first program will air from 8-9 a.m. with the second airing from 10 a.m. until ABC’s telecast begins at 11 a.m. On Saturday, May 28, the day before the race, Barrie and Walsh will host a three-hour edition of SportsCenter from the Speedway beginning at 9 a.m. on ESPN.
In addition to previewing the premier race of the Verizon IndyCar Series with drivers, team owners and others, and welcoming some special guests, the SportsCenter programs also will pay tribute to the long history of the Indianapolis 500 with guest appearances by past champions and special features and elements.
Other editions of SportsCenter Thursday-Sunday will carry reports from the Speedway, including segments with anchor Lindsay Czarniak in the 6 p.m. show on Thursday and Friday, May 26-27. After the race, the winner will have an interview with SportsCenter, and Czarniak will have a SportsCenter Sunday Conversation with the winner that will air in the evening editions of the program. Reporters Marty Smith and Ryan McGee also will contribute to the SportsCenter coverage from Indy.
Former IndyCar Series champion and 2013 Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan was scheduled to visit ESPN on Tuesday, May 24, to appear on several editions of SportsCenter and other ESPN platforms.
The Indianapolis 500 on other ESPN Platforms
ESPN.com will provide surround coverage of the Indy 500 with motorsports writer John Oreovicz joined at IMS by ESPN the Magazine senior writer Ryan McGee and reporter Marty Smith. The site has already been previewing and preparing for the event with news, features and blogs from the Speedway since the track opened for Month of May activities.
espnW.com –Writer Tony Fabrizio has followed Grace Autosport, the all-women’s team that had planned to field an entry in the 100th Indianapolis 500 for driver Katherine Legge and reported on the team’s abandonment of its plans. Fabrizio also wrote on espnW.com about Norway’s 22-year-old Ayla Agren, who hopes to make her way to the IndyCar Series.
WatchESPN and ESPN3 – This year, for the first time, ABC’s telecast of the Indianapolis 500 also will be streaming live on WatchESPN. Race fans will have the option of a second-screen experience during the Indy 500 telecast with a selection of streaming video from onboard cameras on ESPN3. Twelve drivers in the race will be carrying onboard cameras. ESPN3 is accessible on computers, smartphones, tablets, connected devices and smart TVs through WatchESPN. The network is available through an affiliated video and Internet subscription across all major providers nationwide.
ESPN International — In addition to television in the United States on ABC, ESPN also distributes Verizon IndyCar Series race telecasts through a combination of ESPN networks and syndication to more than 184 countries and 110 million homes. In addition, U.S. troops serving overseas and on Navy vessels around the world can watch live via a broadcast agreement between ESPN and the American Forces Network.
ESPN Player — Again this year, ESPN Player is bringing fans across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (excluding the UK, France, Italy and Sub-Saharan Africa) live and on-demand coverage of the Verizon IndyCar Series season as a channel on the digital subscription service. Subscribers also are able to take advantage of ESPN Player’s on-demand service to watch all the qualifying action before tuning in to watch the resulting race live. ESPN Player is available on Mac, PC, iPad and Samsung Smart TVs, with high quality streaming on all devices. Information is available at ESPNPlayer.com.
ESPN the Magazine — In the WNBA20-themed issue, which went on newsstands May 20, The Mag looks at the ways the 100th running of the Indy 500 could prove even more historic. Plus, ESPN’s Nicole Briscoe and Ryan McGee talk speed vs. safety in an installment of SportsCenter on the Road.
ESPN Classic started helping fans ready for the Indy 500 with airings of classic Indy 500 races throughout the week of the race. The airings began Monday, May 23, at 6 a.m. with the 1979 race won by Rick Mears and will continue through Friday, May 27, at 8 p.m.
ESPN on Demand — Available in approximately 70 million television households, ESPN On Demand is the perfect place for Indianapolis 500 fans to get excited about the big race. Viewers can dive into the Indy 500 archive On Demand to view highlights from Al Unser Jr.’s wins in ’87 and ’92, Dario Franchitti’s wins in ’10 and ’12, and highlights from Juan Pablo Montoya’s win in 2015.
ABC Television – ABC’s Good Morning America and World News Tonight programs will air segments on the Indianapolis 500. In addition, Ginger Zee, chief meteorologist for ABC News and Good Morning America, will host the celebrity red carpet prior to the start of the race.
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NBC Sports Group’s 2016 IndyCar Coverage Begins with Return to Phoenix International Raceway in 250-Mile Primetime Race Saturday, April 2
New 2016 Grand Prix Include Races at Wisconsin’s Iconic Road America in June and Streets of Boston on Labor Day Weekend
2016 Verizon IndyCar Series Champion to be Decided on NBCSN; NBC Sports Group Presents Final Eight Races, Including Season Finale from Sonoma Raceway
IndyCar Coming Off Most-Watched Season Ever on NBCSN
STAMFORD, Conn. – Oct. 27, 2015 – NBC Sports Group will present coverage of 11 races during the upcoming 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season, beginning with IndyCar’s return to Phoenix International Raceway in primetime on Saturday, April 2 on NBCSN. Coverage will feature three new race locations, historic tracks, and the final eight races of the 2016 campaign, including the season finale at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday, Sept. 18. Once again, the 2016 IndyCar championship will be decided on NBCSN.
NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets and connected TVs – will stream NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the 2016 IndyCar season.
“Coming off the most-watched IndyCar season ever on NBCSN, we are excited to once again contribute to the growth of this great sport and to showcase its speed and exciting brand of racing,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports & NBCSN. “We take pride that IndyCar entrusts our talented production team to televise the series’ final eight races, including being able to award the IndyCar championship on NBCSN each year.”
Following IndyCar’s return to Phoenix on April 2, NBCSN’s coverage continues on April 17 with the historic Grand Prix of Long Beach, followed by a visit to Barber Motorsports Park on April 24.
NBC Sports Group will present live coverage of the final eight races of the season, beginning at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 11 in primetime on NBCSN. Additional races include IndyCar’s long-awaited return to Wisconsin’s Road America on June 26, the first-ever IndyCar race through the streets of Boston on Labor Day weekend, and the season-finale at Sonoma Raceway in primetime on Sept. 18.
In addition to the 11 races, NBCSN will present coverage of Carb Day from the Indy 500 on Friday, May 27 starting at 11 a.m. ET.
IndyCar is coming off of its most-watched season on NBCSN since IndyCar rights were acquired in 2009. Last year, the series averaged 507,000 viewers over 11 races on NBCSN, up 34% vs. 2014 (378,000, 12 races). Last year’s season finale at Sonoma was the most-watched IndyCar race ever on NBCSN, averaging 841,000 viewers. Click here for more information on last year’s record IndyCar viewership on NBCSN.
Following is NBC Sports Group’s 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series race and event schedule:
NBC SPORTS GROUP 2016 INDYCAR RACE COVERAGE
|Sat., April 2||Phoenix International Raceway||NBCSN||8 p.m.|
|Sun., April 17||Grand Prix of Long Beach||NBCSN||4 p.m.|
|Sun., April 24||Grand Prix of Alabama||NBCSN||3 p.m.|
|Fri., May 27||Carb Day – Indianapolis Motor Speedway||NBCSN||11 a.m.|
|Sat., June 11||Texas Motor Speedway||NBCSN||8 p.m.|
|Sun., June 26||Road America||NBCSN||12:30 p.m.|
|Sun., July 10||Iowa Speedway||NBCSN||5 p.m.|
|Sun., July 17||Streets of Toronto*||CNBC||3 p.m.|
|Sun., July 31||Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course*||CNBC||2 p.m.|
|Sun., August 21||Pocono Raceway||NBCSN||3 p.m.|
|Sun., September 4||Streets of Boston||NBCSN||2 p.m.|
|Sun., September 18||Sonoma Raceway||NBCSN||7 p.m.|
*Same-day delay presentation will air on NBCSN
NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA
NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets and connected TVs – will provide streaming coverage of the 2016 IndyCar season via “TV Everywhere,” giving consumers additional value to for their subscription service, and making high quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms. The NBC Sports Live Extra app is available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play and Windows Store, Roku Channel Store and Apple TV.
–NBC SPORTS GROUP–
NBCSN Sets Total Day & Primetime Viewership Records for the Month
NASCAR Sprint Cup Race from Brickyard Is Most-Watched Telecast in Network’s History
NBCSN Posts Best Tour de France Viewership Since 2010
Consecutive IndyCar Races Are Most-Watched on NBCSN in Four Years
STAMFORD, Conn. — July 28, 2015 – NASCAR and NBC Sports Group kicked off their 10-year partnership in July with more than 100 hours of trackside coverage, which fueled the best July Total Day and Primetime viewership in NBCSN history.
With the full NASCAR slate plus milestone-setting IndyCar and Tour de France race coverage, NBCSN posted its most-watched July ever in Total Day (218,000 average viewers) and Primetime (368,000) viewership, according to live plus same day data released by The Nielsen Company.
Highlighting the month, this past Sunday’s live telecast of NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway was the network’s most-watched telecast ever, averaging 4.7 million viewers. Viewership peaked at 5.6 million from 6:30-6:45 p.m. ET as Kyle Busch raced to his third consecutive victory.
“We are pleased to finish off a great month highlighted by an excellent start with our NASCAR partners, as well as compelling IndyCar and Tour de France racing,” said NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus. “NBCSN’s most-watched telecast ever and best July ever are just the start of things to come as the NASCAR competition heats up for the rest of the summer and into the postseason Chase.”
In the key demographic for the month (June 29-July 26), NBCSN averaged 57,000 Total Day viewers among Adults 18-49 (up 68% from 2014) and 93,000 Primetime A18-49 viewers (up 60%).
- NBCSN averaged 218,000 Total Day (6 a.m-6 a.m.) viewers – marking the best July in NBCSN history. The July 2015 record viewership jumped 91% from the network’s Total Day viewership last July (114,000) and is up 25% from the prior record for the month (175,000) set in July 2012, which included coverage of the opening days of the 2012 London Olympics.
- NBCSN also posted its best July ever in primetime viewership with an average of 368,000 viewers – up 95% from last year (189,000) and a 7% increase from the prior best (345,000) set in July 2003.
- Viewership grew each week for NASCAR Sprint Cup on NBCSN, as the July 26 Brickyard 400 viewership was up 27% from New Hampshire (3.7 million) and up 47% from Kentucky (3.2 million).
- NASCAR America posted its most-watched month ever, averaging 106,000 viewers. The show’s average topped July 2014 viewership by 43%.
- NBCSN posted the best viewership for its live morning Tour de France telecasts since 2010 (the last year Lance Armstrong rode in the race), averaging 365,000 viewers – up 27% from last year (288,000).
- NBCSN’s coverage of the Verizon IndyCar Series posted viewership milestones in succeeding weeks. The July 18 primetime telecast of the Iowa Corn 300 averaged 541,000 viewers, making it the network’s most-watched IndyCar race in four years (Sept. 4, 2011, 591,000 viewers, Baltimore), and eclipsing the milestone hit just six days earlier for the network’s IndyCar presentation from Milwaukee (532,000 viewers). Dating back to the Fontana race on June 27, three consecutive IndyCar races on NBCSN have topped 500,000 viewers – a first since NBC Sports Group acquired IndyCar cable exclusivity in 2008.
NBCSN’s August programming schedule is highlighted by a full slate of NASCAR Sprint Cup and XFINITY series competition, IndyCar and Formula One racing, and the eagerly-anticipated kickoff of the 2015-16 Premier League season next Saturday, August 8.
NBCSN, part of the NBC Sports Group, is a 24/7/365 sports network dedicated to serving passionate sports fans. Now in more than 85 million homes, the Emmy Award-winning network is the cable television home of the Summer and Winter Olympics, National Hockey League (NHL), Premier League, NASCAR, Formula One, IndyCar, Mecum Auctions, Tour de France, and the America’s Cup. In addition, NBCSN features college football, college basketball, college hockey, cycling, outdoor programming, horse racing surrounding the Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup, Premier Boxing Champions, Ironman, the Dew Tour and USA Sevens Rugby. The network is also home to original programs such as NFL Turning Point, Pro Football Talk, The Dan Patrick Show, Men in Blazers, and NHL Rivals, as well as original motorsports programming, including NASCAR America, Mecum Dealmakers, /DRIVE on NBCSN and Off the Grid. NBCSN is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators throughout the United States.
For more information about NBC Sports Group shows and properties, including press releases, photos, talent and executive bios and headshots, please visit NBCSportsGroupPressBox.com (http://nbcsportsgrouppressbox.com)
–NBC SPORTS GROUP—
Auto racing has long been known to be physically stressful for drivers, especially a race of such major intensity as the Indianapolis 500. Now, television viewers will have data to show just how physically intense it is.
ABC’s telecast of Sunday’s 99th Indianapolis 500 will introduce the use of biotelemetry, a high-tech sensing system that will, in real time, give viewers the heart and respiration rate as well as calorie burn rate of two drivers competing in the race.
Drivers James Jakes and Sage Karam will each wear a special sensor on the left side of their chest, near the base of the heart, during the race. Readings from the sensor will be sent out as part of the race car’s telemetry and ESPN’s television production will capture the data for use during the telecast.
“For years, we’ve been able to take viewers inside the car during a race, and now we will be able to take them ‘inside’ the driver,” said ESPN’s Dr. Jerry Punch, who will present findings from the technology as part of his role as a pit reporter during the race telecast.
“We’ll be able to show the viewers how a driver’s baseline heart rate can fluctuate under stress and anxiety levels during the race, under G force in the corners and how it changes when the driver is about to experience a pit stop,” said Dr. Punch. “And as the race evolves and the intensity goes up in the final 20 laps, viewers will see how that’s reflected in heart rate and respiration.”
ESPN is working with Dr. Terry Lyles, an internationally recognized expert in human performance, stress management and life coaching, who developed the biotelemetry system that will be used in a live television broadcast for the first time. A racing insider, Dr. Lyles is often trackside coaching top drivers and teams competing in IndyCar, NASCAR and sports car racing.
“Unless you are belted into the car, there is no better way to experience motorsports,” said Dr. Lyles. “The most important part of any race car is its driver. From the first green flag to the final checkered flag, these super athletes are pushed to their physical and mental limits. Biotelemetry offers an entirely new dimension to race coverage and will enhance the fan experience.”
The Indianapolis 500 is airing on ABC for the 51st consecutive year. The telecast begins at 11 a.m. ET with the race’s green flag at 12:17 p.m.
“We’re always looking for ways to better serve fans, and this is an opportunity to bring the viewers something they’ve never seen before,” said Rich Feinberg, ESPN vice president, production. “We greatly appreciate the cooperation of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing in making this happen.”
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