NBC gets TV rights to Formula One racing

By on Oct, 15 2012 with Comments 72

NBCNBC hopes the deal will give its NBC Sports Network a boost. Formula One will also appear on NBC, but feeding the cable channel will get the lion’s share of content. Speed Network previously had the rights. The rights do not extend to radio, for NBC Sports Radio Network. Those rights stay with Motor Racing Network for now.

NBC Sports Group and Formula One Management, the top international open-wheel racing series promoter, announced a four-year partnership that begins with the 2013 season and provides NBC Sports Group with exclusive U.S. media rights to all Formula 1 Grand Prix races, qualifying and practice sessions on all platforms and devices.

NBC Sports Group will televise all 20 F1 races — four on NBC and 16 on NBC Sports Network — as well as qualifying, practice sessions, studio shows and re-airs that amount to more than 100 hours of programming annually. The Grand Prix of Canada in June as well as the final three races of the 2013 season in November will air on NBC, while the remaining 16 races will air on NBC Sports Network.

All 20 F1 races will be live streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra, the NBC Sports Group’s live-stream platform that is available online at NBCSports.com as well as on mobile and tablet apps.

The 2013 F1™ Grand Prix schedule includes 20 races in 19 countries from March through November, including the Austin, Texas, race on Sunday, 11/17 on NBC. The 2013 season begins on Sunday, 3/17 in Australia on NBC Sports Network and concludes on Sunday, 11/24 in Brazil on NBC. NBC’s first race will be the Grand Prix of Canada, which will be broadcast on Sunday, 6/9. The famed Grand Prix of Monaco is scheduled for Sunday, 5/26, on NBC Sports Network.

2013 FORMULA 1 SCHEDULE:

Sunday, March 17

Australia

NBC Sports Network

 

Sunday, March 24

Malaysia

NBC Sports Network

 

Sunday, April 14

China

NBC Sports Network

 

Sunday, April 21

Bahrain

NBC Sports Network

 

Sunday, May 12

Spain (Barcelona)

NBC Sports Network

 

Sunday, May 26

Monaco

NBC Sports Network

 

Sunday, June 9

Canada

NBC

 

Sunday, June 16

TBD

NBC Sports Network

 

Sunday, June 30

United Kingdom

NBC Sports Network

 

Sunday, July 14

Germany

NBC Sports Network

 

Sunday, July 28

Hungary

NBC Sports Network

 

Sunday, Aug. 25

Belgium

NBC Sports Network

 

Sunday, Sept. 8

Italy

NBC Sports Network

 

Sunday, Sept. 22

Singapore

NBC Sports Network

 

Sunday, Oct. 6

Korea

NBC Sports Network

 

Sunday, Oct. 13

Japan

NBC Sports Network

 

Sunday, Oct. 27

India

NBC Sports Network

 

Sunday, Nov. 3

Abu Dhabi

NBC

 

Sunday, Nov. 17

USA (Austin)

NBC

 

Sunday, Nov. 24

Brazil

NBC

About The Author: Carl has been with RBR-TVBR since 1997 and is currently Managing Director/Senior Editor. Residing in Northern Virginia, he covers the business of broadcasting, advertising, programming, new media and engineering. He’s also done a great deal of interviews for the company and handles our ever-growing stable of bylined columnists.

  1. Will the races still air at the same time (live)? So as to not be foiled by friends or through feeds on the internet.

  2. Who will be providing the feed? Who will be commentating? Who will be on-site at the races?

    • Asking NBC these questions….have not heard back yet…thx

      • And here’s the answer from NBC:

        “Hi, Carl. Sorry for getting back to you late. We will be providing production details, such as commentators, at a later date.”

      • Ferrari fan Says:

        Oh well Dish Network does not have this Fox Sports Channel on my package. I’m not paying more money to watch F1 that I saw on the Speed Channel in my package last year. I think F1 will lose many more fans due the this shift & coverage on the Speed Channel was absolutely a Big Plus. I don’t know if I even care to see the 4 free TV F1 races now !!! My interest will go somewhere else.

  3. Michael Smith Says:

    If this coverage is like the “Epic Cycling Series” be prepared to be disappointed. Broken signals and highlights of races. Don’t expect real time coverage.

  4. Dave Goodwin Says:

    The Speed personalities, format and timing have been the absolute best in racing. Hopefully, NBC is smart enough to just move the package. No “improvement” is necessary.

  5. Somehow I am sure NBC will mess this up.
    Will Formula 1 Debrief change channel’s too?
    This show is critical to understanding the weekly race storylines ….hopefully they just replicate Speed’s current coverage.

  6. When I heard this my first thought was this will be horrible.. How could Speed lose this? NBC don’t screw it up! F1 fans are as loyal as they come, but god help me if you screw this up ill curse you till my dying days. Get the team from Speed, Bob, Steve and David, and why not Will too, he could use some more air time and he’d be good for the younger demo and women. You paid up for the rights, don’t be pound foolish, they are the best. The comradery, humor, knowledge and experience are not reproducible. Please don’t let some vp or exec producer tell you they have a better idea, they don’t. With Varsha, Hobbs and Matchett you can grow audience and promote the sport. Please get them, if your not ready to give a full time commitment to the sport than rent them if you have to. We all remember when Fox aired some races couple years back with regular sports commentators – it was awful till they brought the regular speed coverage team back. Everyone waited to watch the Speed replay. Hoping for the best, be great to see the sport more widely marketed in US. F1 is not like Nascar or even Indy car, it is the epitome of racing, an entire ecosystem of competition and technology at the highest level, with a healthy dose of glamour, money and intrigue. What more could you want. Good luck, but fingers crossed.

    • Well said! +1

    • Well said Rk!! My thoughts exactly. I have a feeling this will not turn out well but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
      As long as I’ve been aware of F1 (which is longer than I care to admit) Speed has covered it and done an exceptional job.
      Here’s to hoping NBC doesn’t screw this up.

    • Well said RK. F1 will never be the same without the Bob Varsha (whop will be staying at Speed), David Hobbs, Steve Machette and the new kid Will Buxton. These guys know the race, the history, the technology and a lot more. I just hope that all the races are aired live, races summarized, interview is shown and if NBC wants to “improve”, they can extend the coverage into the winners celebrations. But please have the same speed commentary team.
      I too hope they have the chalk talk as well.

    • Wendy Shorey Says:

      ABSOLUTELY AGREE!! MY HUSBAND AND I LOOK SO FORWARD TO “DEBRIEF”. WE FELT LIKE THERE WAS A DEATH IN THE FAMILY, WHEN THE END OF THEIR LAST SHOW AIRED!!

  7. With Speed Channel I had chance to watch Formula 1 racing, but with the
    present cable company, Mediacom, NBC Sports is only on expanded cable
    which is not available to me..Thanks for screwing up my ability to watch F1.
    I hope it works out for you, just like INDY cars on VERSUS network. At least
    I GET TO WATCH F1 ON NBC 4 TIMES ON REGULAR TV.

  8. God help us if NBC covers F1 like they cover the Olympics. Their Olympic coverage sucked!!
    They think, up close and personals
    …(what kind of puppy Senna’s girlfriend has)
    …(what Vettel’s 3rd grade teacher thinks of his success!!)
    …(which drivers gay brother felt left in the dust of his race driving brothers career…blah, blah, blah)
    , are a replacement for the sporting action…

    …and I’ll puke if I have to tolorate Bob Costas.

    I can just see…instead of Varsha, Hobbs and Matchett…we’ll get Matt Lauer, Mary Carillo and Meredith Vieira with pit reporting from John McEnroe!!!!

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • It’s all about the money. If Bernie really wants to improve the telecasts they should eliminate the awful new podium post-race interviews…what are they thinking! This is going to end in tears.

  9. Wow what bad news. NBC has such a bad reputation here in the states and certainly not known for great sports broadcasts.

    Speed has done a great job certainly from a motor sports perspective!!!

    NBC wow what a drag

  10. NBC,

    Please DONT SCREW UP F1 like you did for Olympic coverage. F1 should be live not recorded playback. Dont give excuses that it is live streamed.

  11. NBC and F1 – no way that they will excel. Al Roker doing the track side weather. Costas mouthing someone else’s words. Look at the pathetic Oly coverage, factor in the total absence of domain knowledge and you have a perfect recipe for utter mediocrity. At least, get the Speed team with deep domain knowledge and history; keep the usual NBC has beens off the F1 air. Only car guy at NBC is Brian Williams and he is a NASCAR guy knowing nothing of F1.

  12. Fred Friendley Says:

    Since I don’t get NBC Sports network I guess no more F1 for me. It’s a shame as I really enjoyed Speed’s coverage and commitment to the sport that I doubt NBC has. Thank you Speed for 17 years!

    • This is the beginning of the end for F1. Since it’s on a limited access cable channel ratings will go down dramatically…then sponsorship $$$ …quickly follwed by cut backs on technology and safety. It will eventually become a blood sport for CAT Hat Nastycar followers craving more accidents and more injuries all for more ratings. Believe me I know! Because I’m MediaMan.

  13. I agree with what has basically been said above. Speed’s coverage of F1 has improved over the years to the point where it is just about perfect. Each of the announcers perspective is different but they all meld together to make the coverage better. We need driver, mechanic, expert and personal interview input to see the sport as a whole. NBC if you are listening, please hire the coverage team from Speed. Steve is the best technical expert in the business and Will is far and away the best pit lane reporter I have had the pleasure to watch.

    The coverage needs to be timely (not tape delayed) and not dummed down (in the hopes of attracting new viewers…it won’t work). F1 is a sophisticated sport with well informed viewers and it needs to be broadcast that way.

    • I have the same wories as everyone else. Tape delay and “due to time constraints we pick up action on lap 34″, will ruin the sport. I’ve been a fan since the mid sixties and have endured much, but this has the potental of being really bad.

  14. Speed announced that Hobbs, Matchett and Buxton will be on NBC coverage. No Varsha.

    Could be Posey or Daley.

    That is a start at least the people talking will have a clue.

    Now for NBC to not @#%@# up the coverage….althought im nervous about the 100 hours thing.

    20 x 3hr race (with pre race) is 60 hours.

    20 x 2hr p2 (40 hours) and 20 x 2 hr quali (40 hours) is 140 hours in my books….

    that doesnt count a debrief and otehr type shows…

    Me thinks their 100 hours is short….

    • Your math is ok, but your show lengths are too long. It’s only 1.5 hrs for P2, 1 hr for qualifying and 2.5 hrs for the race. Five hours per race weekend times twenty races is 100 hours.

  15. Good for NBC i dont get the speed channel its on a sports package on comcast. pay extra for it.

  16. Bob Varsha will be missed, but good news re: retaining Hobbs, Matchett and Buxton. Derek Daly would be a fine addition, but Posey, while knowledgeable, is near comatose and would send viewers yawning to the exits.

    • Agreed! Bob Varsha will be sadly missed – he’s good. Posey is a sleeper but at least he knows his stuff. I don’t know Derek Daly. Hoping for the best. I’m happy to be able to watch qualifying and the races live.

  17. Damm shame. Nothing like a major TV network to screw up a sport. Just like the NFL ( National Fairies League) on whatever channel they are currently selling out to. Bring back Speed.

  18. Too bad they aren’t broadcasting every race over the air – the only reason I pay $$$ for cable is for F1 and college football. I’d also pretty much rather have them show the debrief episodes rather than practice and just show practice highlights.

  19. Will they have a replay on Monday and Tuesday. like the Speed channel?

  20. To the best of my knowledge, Sam Posey has Parkinson’s disease – so I can’t see how he’d be able to do live broadcasts. Daley or Leigh Diffy would be nice – at the beginning, not as good as Varsha, but with the ability to develop over time and mesh well with Hobbs and Matchett. Or how about Peter Windsor – he’d be great in the studio!

  21. If Dave Despain would go to F1 with David and Steve; and if Sports Car racing moved to ESPN or NBC, I would have no reason to subscribe to SpeedTV. I’ve quit watching Speed Center because of that idiot Adam who as he says several times each Sunday… “is not a good thing”.

  22. I see the schedule for the Sunday races – When & What Network will the Saturday Qualifing we aired? Qualifing is just as exciting for us as the races.

  23. In Canada the original live broadcasts on Speed were blacked out. We only got to see the re-runs.

    And of course NBCSports is not available from any Cable or Satellite provider in this country due to their refusal to allow Canadian commercial content being substituted by the provider.

    So unless NBC plays reruns of the mere four races on the main network I won’t be seeing any this year.

    Life isn’t fair.

    Cheers,
    ~jwf~

  24. BLACKSNAKE Says:

    ..so we have to buy yet ANOTHER ‘package’ in order to view what SPEED channel provided free under normal viewing..on satellite/cable systems which are drowning in marketing BULLSH-T for too long now..America’s lost viewer entertainment for more favorable big corporate/wall street big $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ marketing..and this is simply ANOTHER ploy to sell whatever the marketers desire..FORGET ENTERTAINMENT..unless you have the $$$$ to buy yet ANOTHER ‘package’…saywaadee, we used to say..the old days of entertainment are gone..MARKETING prevails in AMERICA from now on..;-)!!!!

    • Jay Rephan Says:

      I just Called Dishnetwork… they said that NBCSC is not available on any sports packages… period…

      so, that leaves us Speedchannel F1 fans out is the cold except for four races/year…

      I’m crying…

      Any Websites with live coverage? please email me with answers jbrephan@gmail .com

      Thanks..

      • Jay,
        I don’t know where you are from but WFTV in Orlando. Fl. covers F-1 live but it is in Spanish. I connect with F-1 on the internet and they cover it with written comments upgraded every 30 seconds, So it is watch TV and read what is happening.

        dick

  25. While I agree wholeheartedly with all the comments above, I am NOT a Bob Varsha fan. He is too deep in the Ferrari pockets for me. Without Hobbs F1 would never be the same.

    Please include Peter Windsor or Sam Posey. I am a big Posey follower from the wonderful days at Riverside International Raceway.

  26. This sucks. Thanks for nothing Bernie! So Greedy!

  27. I would be astonished if Bernie would allow NBC to have the TV rights, if they did not show all live feeds on the NBC Sports network. He is trying to get F1 fully established in the USA. As for NBC, that will show four races, they have no reason to delay transmission, as those races are during USA day times hours.
    I hope we see and hear more from Buxton, and less drivel from Hobbs.
    And I also hope that Bob Costas is not involved. But he seems to have some influence at NBC Sports, so do not be surprised to see his five foot frame appearing in front of the TV cameras. I do hope I am wrong.

  28. Horacio Avila Says:

    I bet NBC is going to do the same thing they did with the Olympics tape delayed and bit and pieces and we are going to get to know the people and the hardship they went thru to get to F1, and of course Bob Costas is going to be the one telling the stories. NBC still does not get it that USA is a global nation and we are interested in things other than Baseball, Football and Basketball and we want the format and personalities from Speed Chanel and maybe they can bring back Peter Windsor, he would be a great addition to the cast.

  29. When will a printable TV schedule with US channel guide be ready??

    Time is getting short and this should have been available by now!!!

  30. I just want to see live action on track as we have been accustomed to with SPEED.
    If NBC can’t/don’t/want to accomplish this, theres gonna be lots of disappointed fans.
    Lets get this done & start the season off on good note!!

  31. According to the Bleacher Report, the announcing team will be Diffey, Hobbs and Matchett.

  32. When and where can we get the TV schedule? Will they cover practice and qualifying? As the Social chairman of a sports car club in Austin it would be nice to know so as to schedule some watching parties. I agree with everyone about the potential for NBC to really screw this up!!! I hope that they have the intelligence to get Varsha for next year. Peter Windsor would make a wonderful addition. If Costas gets in there I am going to RALF on my Corinthian Leather!!!

  33. I’m with CHL!!
    I enjoyed the city in Nov BTW, hope to be there this year also!!

    Any updates from anyone/anywhere???
    Starting to get a little wiggly as the start of the season is fast approaching.
    Lets see a printable schedule of times and channels here PLEASE!
    NBC are you following along?? I hope so.

  34. US Darts Says:

    If coverage is anything like the rest of NBC’s sports coverage we will learn more about the death of Nigel Mansell’s dog in 1921 than the 2013 F1 season.

    He was gutted by the way.

  35. Oust Bernie Says:

    So, to build F1 in America they decide to go with a sub-par broadcasting team and one that will have to be paid for. How will broadcasting on station you have to pay to subscribe to build the viewer base. REALLY BERNIE?!?!

  36. Topfolette Says:

    If I can’t see the races I’ll lose intrest.I even have the F1,2011 for Xbox,and F1 teeshirts, and I’m 57 years young for crying out loud. F1 has really screwed this up for a lot of fans.

  37. Horacio Avila Says:

    Well at least some good people are coming to NBC but what about Peter Windsor? No Posey, Daley or Leigh
    WE WANT BARSHA!!!!!

  38. Ditto Rk.

    You have the schedule for 2013 above but, what TIME . . . as in o’clock, will the races be broadcast.

  39. Jay Heller Says:

    Good News!!!, i just checked my NBCsports tv schedule, all week they have countdown to Formula one on, then starting Thurs OZ practice, Fri Quali 11pm(PST), and Season Opening Australian Grand Prix 10:30 PM (PST). also running upto the race they will show practice,quali and go straight into the race all back to back (7:30-12:30am)5 hours of formula 1 (SWEET). then it re airs again in the morning for all you late risers… coverage seems to be promising, atleast we will beable to see practice, quali, and race.

  40. sierrajohn Says:

    We have lost the broadcasters that motor sports has to offer by having NBC covering Formula 1. The only broadcaster that is missing is Mike Joy on the F1 broadcast! Now many of us will miss watching F1 by having NBC sports channel unless we upgrade or switch to another TV provider. NONE OF THIS MAKES ANY SENSE !!!!!

    Speed is the channel for all Motorsports !!!!!!!!!

  41. sierrajohn Says:

    NBC, read all the comments above. Here’s your(NBC’s)answer,,,sublease the broadcasting rights to Speed.

    This is the biggest screwup of television I’ve ever heard of. I just celebrated my golden anniversary(50 years)of being an any open wheel formula race car fan. It all started when my bother-in-law took me to my first race in his MG when I was twelve. My heros, Sterling Moss, Dan Gurney, Graham Hill and many others. My anniversary present has been ruined by Bernie and NBC. In all the other comments above, all are well stated. The only other broadcaster not mentioned above to replace Bob Varsa is Mike Joy(!!!!!!!!)who has the motorsport experiance shown by his presence on Speed.

    I also cannot get NBC sports !!!!!!!!!!!

    NBC=No broadcasting Company

  42. I don’t care for the US team outside Hobbs or Matchett. I normally find a way to watch SKY’s coverage anyways. I like Brundle and Croft better.

    • What do you use to watch SKYs coverage of F1 anyway? I’ve tried to watch it from the Internet a few times, but no luck. A reply would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!!

  43. Jose Grau Says:

    I guess some of you believe that NBC and NBC Sport is the same channel, well, they are not.

    In my case, the basic package that includes NBC is around $29.99/mo. I’m actually paying $49.99/mo. in order to be able to see Speed using Dish Network in Puerto Rico.

    Now, with this new change, I’ll need to include around 50 channels more to be able to see NBCSP (NBC Sport). This will cost me $74.99/mo.

    Therefore, on Dish Network I’ll have to pay $540.00 additional per year in order to be able to enjoy F1!!

    That is too much for me!! Any cheaper ideas??

  44. Anybody know if there is a way to “DVR” nbcsports.com? NBC Sports Network is not on cable (at least not Comcast) here and I used to DVR F1 since I don’t get up at 6 am to watch it live. NBC really made a big financial error when they spent all this money to buy the rights and only broadcast a handful of races. This is like only broadcasting the Olympics on weekends and only allowing satellite subscribers to watch it prime time during the week. NBC, get a clue – the money is over the air, not on cable or satellite.

  45. First race and no where to be found I have dish network in south Florida ANC I can’t find the Australia formula one qualification or race some feedback will be great thx

  46. Just watching the first F1 race at NBC. Horrible coverage. Full of advertisement. MISS Speed channel.
    Probably I won’t watch F1 again.

  47. US Darts Says:

    Guess I won’t be watching F1 this year since I’m not paying for NBC Sports Channel which is not part of our already additional satellite sports package. I just wonder how much interest this move from Speed will cost F1 in the US.

    At their best NBC’s sports coverage is lousy.

  48. Richard Whipple Says:

    Started with F1 at the Nurburgring in the early 60’s with many 35mm shots of some of the best drivers of the time and have followed the racing through the years.
    The change to NBC sports will pretty much eliminate watching the races for me so I will return to print coverage to keep up with latest. I will miss Speed but hey, we all know that money rules in the end. I do think the powers that be stumbled on this move and will lose many fans.

    • u r 100% right, greed has killed many worthwhile things, these fools think we will pay for a channel all year for one show

  49. Just broadcast every formula 1 practice, qualifying and race and drop the rubbish

  50. Its bad enough that they have butchered a beautiful sport by downsizing engines, restricting tire changes, and refueling, taking the oirs out of the sport, homogonizing it. Now we cant even find where to watch it! What a sad state!

  51. I’m not sure why so many people are bashing on NBC sports for this seasons F1 races. At least they’re showing most of the races unlike speed did last year, when some didn’t air at all, don’t you people remember that? Only true F1 fans wake up to watch races at 3-4am only to find out SPEED wasn’t airing them. Anyway, I think NBC is doing a fine job so far, if they got Varsha back it could be better. But the last season or 2 at SPEED was mainly about NASCAR. And we all know how different those two motorsports are!!

    • billymays Says:

      Hmm, maybe because they are doing an awful job? This is the most unprofessional broadcast I have ever seen. Only halfway through the season and 2 races (not aired live locally on NBC sports) are completely ruined by showing the result of the race right at the beginning of the broadcast! SPEED has NEVER done that. Air the races live for real fans and re-broadcast them later for the people that don’t want to get up early. AND DON”T AIR NEWS ABOUT F1 DURING THE RE-BROADCAST! Really NBC, really?! Bob Varsha, SPEED, and the oblivious gotta be the only ones happy with this coverage. Thanks for completely ruining the broadcast of my favorite sport NBC. Wanna come over and kick my dog too?





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