NBC Sports Network has finally added more live sports to their portfolio, and they've gone global to do it. After 16 years of being aired on Fox and Speed Channel, the world's top racing circuit, Formula One, now moves to NBC. Formula One won't be a game changer by any stretch for NBC, or a huge ratings grabber, but F1 racing has a dedicated fanbase, even stateside. It's an important step forward because of the amount of new live sports for NBC to show.
NBCSN will air 16 races beginning next season in 2013 with NBC airing the remaining 4. NBCSN will also air qualifying, practices, studio shows, and other shows that adds up to 100 hours of new programming. Via NBC's announcement...
"NBC Sports Group and Formula One Management, the top international open-wheel racing series promoter, announced a four-year partnership today 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."
On the flip side, Fox loses F1 after a lenghty relationship with Speed Channel, but is that in line with Speed's eventual transformation into the much anticipated Fox Sports 1 all sports channel? SBD's initial report on the F1 move hints Fox may have been willing to let F1 go to NBC because of their highly anticipated entry into the all sports cable field.
NBC has gotten most of the attention over the last year as a competitor to ESPN, but Fox is better positioned at the moment to make a run at the Bristol behemoth. They have the global conglomerate in News Corp. to back the move aggressively, but more importantly - they have more rights fans want to see at the moment. Fox's portfolio is much, much stronger than NBC's at the moment to fill an all sports cable channel.
One of those entities is NASCAR. Fox has agreed to an extension with NASCAR to continue airing the first portion of the Sprint Cup season, including the Daytona 500 until 2022...
As part of the new agreement, which takes effect in 2015, FSMG retains the television rights to 13 consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points races beginning each year with the prestigious Daytona 500. In addition, FSMG retains the rights to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, the Daytona Shootout, the Duel at Daytona, the entire NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season and practice and qualifying for both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races that FSMG broadcasts.
Although nothing has been confirmed yet, Fox Sports 1 looks to be on its way. Last month MediaBistro reported the trademarks to "Fox Sports 1" had been filed. NASCAR Sprint Cup races would certainly be highlighted programming alongside possible MLB and college football games. In comparison to the NHL, Tour de France, and F1 - Fox has the advantage over NBC from the start, at least in non-Olympic years.
Over the next year, if Fox Sports 1 becomes a reality, the programming race between NBC, Fox and ESPN will be the biggest story in the industry. (CBS Sports Network still can't be taken seriously at the moment.) These two news stories from the racing world symbolize where NBC and Fox are at the moment. NBC has taken another small step forward with the rights to F1, but with the NHL shooting themselves in the foot once again, they need a flagship league to take the next leap. NBC taking F1 from Fox is like winning one 10-9 round in a 15 round fight. Fox keeping NASCAR on board continues to see themselves in a stronger position for the potential launch of Fox Sports 1.
Oh crap, this can't be good. The entire Speed team of Varsha, Matchett, Hobbs and Buxton *must* be retained as does the Debrief. It's my favorite show, and I can only imagine NBC dumbing it all down to NASCAR level.
Manchett and Hobbs are going over to NBC, Varsha is staying with Speed but he is being replaced by Leigh Diffy who's one of my favorite boradcasters so it should be pretty good, I'm not sure whats happening as far as a pit lane reporter, Buxton has really grown on me in the past 3 years since Windsor left for the attempt to get his team off the ground. I really hope they get Buxton on with them too, and maybe do more as far as interviews and tech stuff.
I think that all but Varsha are returning. It is hard to tell from now what coverage next year will look like.
NBC has found new and inventive ways to pre-empt live sports broadcasts. This has been especially notable with the pro-tennis broadcasts. NBC winning the coverage might be the death nell for Formula 1 coverage in the US! If they treat Formula 1 like other live sports contracts they have had, I will certainly write Bernie and let him know how awful this business decision has been for his viewers here!
I'm doubly concerned with this. I'm really hoping that they bring the whole Speed F1 team over to keep everything going smoothly, I can see them screwing it up and we end up with Wally Dallenbach and Kyle Petty making the calls for F1. On the other side PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't make SPEED Fox Sports 1. If you want to make a new channel and put the Nascar races on it, and some of the other stuff like qualifying, and some practice sessions. Just don't take my SPEED away. I have an average of 80% of my DVR full and it's all from SPEED! If they make the switch to a general sports channel we'll lose all of the other international racing, WRC, BTCC, WTC, Aussie V8's, AMA road racing, WSBK, Moto GP, so on and so forth. There's also the racing news shows like Wind Tunnel, Speed Center, Nascar Performance, Mobile1 the grid and a few others. This is the first I've heard of this possible change, but I have noticed the Fox Sports Logo up in the top right of the screen during some larger broadcasts and wondered what that might be about. I've been watching Speed since before the Fox take over and the switch from Speedvision to Speed. Speed was a portal where you could see all the other forms of motorsports that you couldn't see anywhere else back in those days before streaming and youtube. Back in those days you could see Nascar on ESPN, and on TNN, maybe an Indycar race here or there but that was it. Speedvision came along and motorsports fans all across the us rejoiced. There was some low times, like in the mid 2000's when it almost became the Nascar network with 5-8 hours of Nascar coverage almost everyday, but when the Nascar started to decline, along with the economy, the coverage backed down and Speed really came back. I really really hope Speed doesn't disappear, cause I'm pretty sure the way the world is now with the internet, we'll never see something like it come back if it does go away, That would be a sad sad day and I would be one to cancel my Directv service soon there after.
Like the rest of you, NBC will really blow this if they do not bring the whole team over from Speed.
My worry is that this new venture will end up with a subscription fee. Is there any buzz about fees?
F1 on NBC will only be successful if they are able to sign up the current Speed F1 broadcast team. The announcing teams for past non-Speed broadcast races have been dismal - lacked the color and expertise of the Speed team.
@littlemac9 Exactly. A good part of why I watch F1 is because of the expertise and inside information provided by Bob, Dave, Steve and Wil. Please NBC, don't screw this up.
@littlemac9 The races that have been on FOX have featured too much stupidity in the marketing them and coming in and out of commercial breaks. Speed has figured it out for them....I agree they need to bring everything with them in including Sam Posey and Will Buxton...I would like for NBC to use their considerable strength to help the at the track coverage a little more....maybe more than just Buxton....maybe more access to the teams....