NTT IndyCar Series has agreed to a new television contract with NBC. (IndyCar Photo)

IndyCar Series To Return To NBC

MOORESVILLE, N.C. — A new television agreement with NBC means even more races on the main over-the-air network in the future for IndyCar.

After shopping around its television rights for the past several months, IndyCar officials discovered the best value was to remain with NBC as a new multi-year television package was announced on Tuesday morning.

A hefty increase of 13 races will be on the main NBC network beginning next season. This year, there were nine. The remaining races on the 2022 NTT IndyCar schedule will be televised on USA Network and Peacock, NBC’s streaming platform.

NBC Sports will continue to be the exclusive home of the Indianapolis 500 and will provide coverage of all NTT IndyCar Series races, qualifying, practices and Indy Lights races across its linear, digital, and streaming platforms, including Peacock.

Financial terms were not disclosed. 

“NBC Sports has been the ideal partner for the NTT IndyCar Series, bringing our bold and audacious style of racing to a significantly larger domestic audience and fully leveraging the power and scale of the Indianapolis 500,” said Mark Mile, president and CEO, Penske Entertainment Corp. “This new deal represents a significant expansion of our network TV exposure and sets us up for continued growth and success alongside a committed, innovative and world-class broadcast partner.”

Earlier this year, IndyCar did its due diligence by contacting other networks to discuss future television packages. CBS showed brief interest, but with a summer schedule jam-packed with the PGA Tour, combined with NCAA’s March Madness in the spring and the National Football League in the fall, CBS’s Sean McManus said there were no programming slots available.

FOX was also contacted, but continues to be the network of NASCAR, Major League Baseball and the National Football League as well as Big East basketball.

ABC/ESPN was contacted by IndyCar, but serious discussion never materialized.

The media rights extension comes on the heels of viewership milestones for the IndyCar Series on NBC. The 105thIndianapolis 500 on NBC was the most-watched edition of the race since the 100th running in 2016, and NBC Sports is off to its most-watched NTT IndyCar Series season ever through the first nine races of 2021, with viewership up 30 percent vs. comparable coverage in 2020.

The partnership between NBC Sports and the NTT IndyCar Series dates back to 2009, when NBCSN (originally Versus) became the cable home of the series and televised the majority of its races each season. 

NBC Sports became the exclusive home of IndyCar in 2019, which also marked the year of NBC’s inaugural Indianapolis 500 broadcast.

The full 2022 NTT IndyCar Series coverage schedule on NBC, USA Network and Peacock will be announced in the coming months. 

Peacock will stream all races on NBC and USA Network and will continue as the streaming home of NTT IndyCar Series qualifying and practices sessions, Indy Lights races, and full-event replays. Peacock will stream two races exclusively which will be announced at a later date.

“NBC Sports is proud to extend its partnership with the NTT IndyCar Series and continue to serve as the exclusive home of the most competitive open-wheel racing series in the world and ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,’” said Jon Miller, NBC Sports. “We have demonstrated NBCUniversal’s ability to make big events bigger with our presentations of the Indianapolis 500, we have worked closely with Roger Penske, Mark Miles and the entire team to expand IndyCar’s reach across the U.S, and we are thrilled to build upon our collaborative successes of the past few years.” 

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