It is now official, coverage of Formula 1 in the US will now be seen on either NBC or NBC Sports Network, as Speed will conclude its 17-year run with Formula One at the end of this season. In a report from Autosport, we read that NBC Sports Group has signed on to bring American viewers F1 for the next four years. The financial details of the deal were not specified.
The plan is to broadcast four races on NBC and the other sixteen on NBC Sports Network. It is reported that practice and qualifying sessions will be covered on the Sports Network as well. The four NBC-shown races will be the Canadian GP, as well as the final three races of the season.
F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone remains confident in the new arrangement, "I feel that [NBC] will promote Formula 1 to a level not seen before in the United States," he continued, "I very much look forward to working with NBC. Together, we will endeavor to broaden the scope of Formula 1 coverage available to US viewers incorporating digital content." NBC has touted its online coverage of sporting events such as the Olympics, and could bring a whole new dynamic to the way Formula 1 is covered in the United States.
With the debut of the United States Grand Prix around the corner, NBC could have picked an ideal time to start covering the sport. But before NBC can capitalize on the Austin, TX-held event, Speed will get a shot at the race, which is on November 18. It is Speed's second-to-last race. The final F1 race to be broadcast on Speed is the Brazilian Grand Prix, on November 25.