Jump to content


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.


Nbc Picks Up F1 Coverage In The Us For 2013

Recommended Posts

That time of day when I share things of interest to no one:

F1 qualifying will not be aired live this weekend. NBCSN has picked up the Premier League and will show every single match. They will honor their F1 contract and show the Grands Prix live in the event of conflict, but will not show qualifying live. Bob Varsha, by the way, will be doing the next Grand Prix as Leigh Diffey has IndyCar duties.

Qualifying will be live on Univision Deportes Network. If you have DIRECTV, Dish Network, or AT&T U-verse, you receive UDN. If you do not have those three, you do not. (You may still get UniMás, the over-the-air network that covers the races live and commercial-free).

I am wondering if we will see more races on CNBC or something in 2014. Premier League games do conflict with Belgium, Italy, and Singapore, and while all will air live in 2013, it may not be the case in 2014. NBCSN paid too much for Premier League. They also paid too much for NASCAR, which doesn't impact F1 beyond the USGP, and even then, that's not until 2015 when NASCAR on NBC starts.

All the while, F1's former home, SPEED, is FOX Sports 1 next week, as FUEL becomes FOX Sports 2, and those channels will now be airing MotoGP, USCR (sports cars...ALMS/Grand-Am merged...), and, yes, Formula E.

So, what's it looked like for F1 on NBCSN?

Here are the first airings of Grands Prix on NBCSN. This includes the first NBCSN airing of Silverstone and Nürburgring, which aired live on CNBC (so, to be clear, these are not the CNBC numbers). It does not include Monaco and Canada, which aired live on NBC.


Ironically, at 312,000 viewers, the Silverstone re-air is the most watching F1 on NBCSN broadcast ever. Second is Canadian GP qualifying (301,000). Weird.

Now, some races air at bad times, so let's add the first live on NBCSN with the NBCSN re-air. Obviously, no races that aired live on NBC or CNBC are included.


Looking positive for F1 in the U.S. Still far behind what they drew on SPEED, but in general, each race is drawing more viewers for NBCSN than the last.

Let's compare to IndyCar's live races on NBCSN:


Comparing is unfair, of course, because the numbers aren't really in equal circumstances. IndyCar faces more competition, and the early season Asian races for F1 skew the data to look like more people are interested when, in fact, it could just be that the time zones are better for F1 now.

So, what about qualifying, then? NBCSN's not showing it live, after all. Well, to be honest, it doesn't do all that well:


Take out an afternoon Canadian Grand Prix session, and it's not so great. British Grand Prix qualifying was also in the afternoon; it wasn't live. IndyCar qualifying?


The times this is aired (never live) change so much that it's pretty useless.

So, the most-watched live race on NBCSN this year: 288,000 viewers for Hungary. ALMS on ESPN2 (Mosport) had 302,000. Global Rally Cross got 388,000 on its last non-X-Games race on ESPN. A NASCAR Whelen Modified race (at best, their fourth-tier series, but probably the fifth-tier in all honesty) got 420,000.

Was the grass greener on SPEED? Numbers-wise, yeah. Coverage-wise, well, even SPEED had fewer commercials than NBCSN did, and SPEED made some use of minor tape-delaying if something "big" happened on an ad break (whereas NBCSN just flat misses it and doesn't always replay unless it's really big...and believe me, they've missed a ton of "really big" moments, as someone who switches to the commercial-free broadcast during the breaks).

But SPEED's gone now, and viewership is getting a little better. It'll be nice to hear Varsha, too.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Create New...