Shifting gears: NBC to become broadcast home of the Indianapolis 500 starting in 2019
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – For more than 50 years, ABC was the TV home of the Indianapolis 500, but change is coming for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing in 2019.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles confirmed Wednesday that the media rights package for the Verizon IndyCar Series and Indianapolis 500 would shift to NBC Sports Group in a multi-year deal.
NBC will replace ABC as the network home of the Indy 500, starting with next year’s 103rd Running. The new deal brings an end to a partnership with ABC that has been ongoing since 1965. Starting in 2019, NBC and its properties will carry all of IndyCar’s races.
Boles issued a statement about the change:
“The Indy 500 on ABC has been a Memorial Day weekend tradition for millions of viewers across several generations. Together with ABC, we’ve shared many special and unforgettable moments with our fans across the globe. We’re grateful for the partnership and look forward to concluding it in fitting fashion with this May’s 102nd Running. Then we look ahead to years of great Indianapolis 500s on NBC. These are exciting times for the Indianapolis 500, which continues to show its strength as one of the world’s great annual events.”
The new broadcast package includes streaming rights to IndyCar races. Eight races, including the Indy 500, will be carried live on NBC. The remaining races will appear on NBCSN. NBC promised an “unprecedented marketing and promotional support” campaign for the racing series.
Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company, said the arrangement will put IndyCar races under one broadcast banner and increase exposure.
“We couldn’t be happier to have start-to-finish coverage of IndyCar’s season with the NBC Sports Group,” Miles said in a statement.
According to our partners at IndyStar, the race will likely continue to be broadcast on a delay, as ABC has done, unless the race sells out.