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INDYCAR, NBC extend media rights deal

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - MAY 30: Scott Dixon of New Zealand, driver of the #9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, leads the field at the start of the 105th Running Of The NTT IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 30, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) – Indianapolis-based INDYCAR has announced a multi-year extension of its media rights agreement with NBC Sports. Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed, however, the partners say it includes an increased presence for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES in 2022 with 13 races to be broadcast on NBC.

The remaining races in the 2022 season will be shown on exclusively USA Network and Peacock, NBC’s streaming service, with two races each. INDYCAR says all open tests, qualifying and practice sessions, as well as Indy Lights races will continue to be shown on Peacock. The streaming service will also simulcast all races.

The extension comes as INDYCAR is seeing a 30% increase in viewership through the first nine races of the 2021 season. This year’s running of the Indianapolis 500 was also the most-watched edition of the race since 2016.

Mark Miles, chief executive officer of Penske Entertainment Corp., says the announcement ensures the continued growth of the INDYCAR audience over the next few years.

“When we made our original agreement, part of what the senior team at NBC said to us was they know how to make big events bigger, but I think they’ve absolutely demonstrated that with their nurturing and promotion and production and the coverage of the Indianapolis 500 mile race and the numbers now speak for themselves,” said Miles.

Jon Miller with NBC Sports says INDYCAR racing is a strong network television property.

“I think you’ve got some of the brightest young racers and most competitive racing out there. I mean, week in and week out, we see great racing whenever we have an INDYCAR race on with recognizable names who are becoming bigger and bigger stars out there,” said Miller. “We find that it fits into a very good, tight, two-and-a-half-hour, three-hour window, which I think is important. And the quality of production really lends itself…and I think that translates and I think fans at home have noticed that and see it and it works to everybody’s advantage.”

INDYCAR says the coverage schedule for the 2022 season will be announced in the coming months.