IndyCar Series on NBC
||It has been suggested that IndyCar Countdown be merged into this article. (Discuss) Proposed since August 2016.|
|IndyCar Series on NBC|
|Genre||Auto racing telecasts|
|Presented by||See commentators section below|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||NBC Sports|
|Original network||NBC Sports
|Picture format||480i (SDTV),
|Original release||2009– present|
|Related shows||IndyCar Series on ABC
The IndyCar Series on NBC is the branding used for telecasts of IndyCar Series races produced by NBC Sports, and televised by NBCSN (or CNBC if there is a conflict) in the United States. When the network began carrying the race broadcasts in 2009, the network introduced "IndyCar Non-Stop," featuring a format and appearance nearly identical to that of Side-By-Side.
When the CART Series was created in 1979, NBC broadcast the races as part of the sports anthology series Sportsworld. NBC soon became the exclusive broadcast partner of CART – although the series' most prestigious race, the Indianapolis 500 was sanctioned by USAC, and had a contract with ABC Sports. NBC carried races from 1979 to 1991, with the Michigan 500, Pocono 500, and Meadowlands their top events. Additionally, NBC televised a close father-son championship duel at Tamiami Park in 1985 between Al Unser and Al Unser Jr., with Big Al defeating Little Al by a single point.
In the mid-1980s, CART began airing races on ABC and ESPN. The number of races NBC covered each season began to dwindle during the late portion of the decade. In addition, the broadcasts on NBC were more often tape-delayed and edited, while those on ABC and ESPN were usually live and "flag-to-flag". As the sport was growing in popularity, the organization naturally preferred the more desirable live telecasts.
By the early 1990s, NBC carried only one race each year in July, either the Meadowlands Grand Prix or Toronto. The final season that NBC had aired a CART race was in 1994, with its coverage of the Toronto race. Jim Lampley (who called the Indy 500 on ABC in 1986-1987) was the anchor for the 1994 telecast.
In the early 2000s NBC covered occasional American Le Mans Series races and secured a multi-year TV contract with NASCAR, but in 2005, NBC agreed to cover the Champ Car World Series (formerly CART) in Long Beach and Montreal, using Champ Car's new in-house broadcasting team of (at the time) Rick Benjamin, Derek Daly, Jon Beekhuis, and Calvin Fish. These races were renewed in 2006, with the addition of San Jose. In 2007 NBC used their NASCAR announcers Bill Weber and Wally Dallenbach, Jr. (who had raced IndyCars sparingly, and whose father was CART's chief steward for many years) alongside permanent Champ Car driver analyst Jon Beekhuis, and added their own Marty Snider to the CCWS pitlane team of Michelle Beisner, Cameron Steele, and Bill Stephens. With ESPN once again covering the bulk of the calendar, NBC only covered the first 2 races of the season, in Las Vegas and Long Beach.
On August 7, 2008, Versus (now NBCSN) announced a ten-year deal with the IndyCar to broadcast at least 13 IndyCar Series events each year in high-definition, beginning with the 2009 season. ABC would continue to broadcast the Indianapolis 500, as well as four additional races. Through the deal, Versus began airing one-hour pre-race shows the day before a given race. The channel would also broadcast various motorsports series on its Lucas Oil Motorsports Hour program such as USAC and Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series races.
Bob Jenkins (who was signed as the chief announcer, and returned to IndyCar Racing full-time for the first time since 2001), Jon Beekhuis and Robbie Buhl were initially on the network's broadcast team, along with Jack Arute, Robbie Floyd and Lindy Thackston as pit reporters.
In August 2009, Indianapolis Star reporter Curt Cavin said that Arute would be leaving ESPN at the end of 2009 and join Versus full-time. He was fired from the network due to cost-cutting moves instituted by the network's new Comcast ownership following its merger with NBCUniversal. He was replaced by Kevin Lee, who is also a pit reporter for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Network. Wally Dallenbach Jr. joined the Versus broadcast team following the merger, replacing Robbie Buhl.
List of commentators
||This section needs to be updated. (July 2014)|
- Leigh Diffey (2013–present; also anchors coverage of the Formula One World Championship for NBC)
- Rick Allen - reserve broadcaster (2016-present) (fill-in)
- Brian Till – reserve broadcaster (2012–2016) (fill-in)
- Kevin Lee - reserve broadcaster (2015-present) on-track sessions, (fill-in)
- Jake Query- reserve broadcaster (2016-present) on-track sessions
- Omar Amador - lead Spanish-language broadcaster
- Townsend Bell (2013–present)
- Paul Tracy (2014–present)
- Robin Miller (2016-present) (fill-in)
- Jon Beekhuis (2016-present) (fill-in)
- Robin Miller (2011–present)
- Kevin Lee (2011–present)
- Marty Snider (2011–present)
- Jon Beekhuis (2013–present)
- Katie Hargitt (2015–present)
- Anders Krohn (2017-present)
Host of IndyCar Central
- "Experienced lineup". indycar.com. January 14, 2009. Archived from the original on January 21, 2009. Retrieved January 18, 2009.
- on YouTube
- "FAQ's about the TV deal". IndyCar.com. IndyCar Series. August 7, 2008. Retrieved August 7, 2008.
- "Solid Partnerships". IndyCar.com. IndyCar Series. August 7, 2008. Retrieved August 7, 2008.
- "IndyCar Announces New TV Deal". Inside Indiana Business. August 7, 2008. Retrieved October 29, 2010.
- "IndyCar on Versus". IndyCar.com. IndyCar Series.
- "Versus Expands Coverage Lineup". IndyCar.com. IndyCar Series.