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.


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  • 68 Comments
      Robin
      • 2 Years Ago
      I really hope they keep the SPEED announcing team -- all 4 of them. I am hopeful they will, as Bob Varsha and Steve Hobbs have been doing F1 commentary in the US since ESPN in the early '90s (at least -- perhaps even earlier). Matchett brings a completely unique perspective as well, as a mechanic, as opposed to a driver, which most commentary teams in Europe use (well, at least in the UK and Finland, I think France as well).
        StephenT
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Robin
        I also really hope that Hobbs, Matchett, and Buxton will make it to NBC but I doubt Varsha will. Now that Speed shows Barrett-Jackson a half dozen times a year, he seems to be tied to that more than racing. I'm also hopeful that NBC will carry on the online streaming of P1 and P3 like Speed currently does. Time will tell but this has a real possibility of going horribly wrong if NBC doesn't really pay attention to F1.
      therealjustin
      • 2 Years Ago
      I am both excited and worried about these changes. I know some don't care for Varsha, Hobbs or Matchett but I enjoyed the coverage. Varsha knows how to keep the conversation going and it is nice to have a former driver and mechanic there. They also have humor which is something desperately needed on BBC and Sky. I missed a few practices a couple months back and had to download torrents from their coverage and it nearly put me to sleep. Bernie's hint at online content scares me too. I will not pay for extra F1 coverage online. I will also not pay for any NBC Sports access site either. I want to see at least one practice session(P2 is best), full qualifying and the full race on TV. Save the online feature for things like back marker interviews or something.
      Chayil
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is not good news. Speed has done a tremendous job for the past 17 years. I absolutely love Bob Varsha, Steve Matchett and David Hobbs. My worries are that NBC will have Danny Sullivan and Eddie Underachiever in the broadcast booth. I LOL when I read the comments about how some people hate one or all of the Speed team as I feel they are waaaay off base. I will have to wait and see before I issue a verdict on NBC's coverage, but given their lackluster racing coverage in the past, I am not very hopeful. Sadly, we have Speed devolve over the years with its overdone NASCAR coverage and countless lame programming, but F1 and Sports Car racing have always been done well. Oh, that SpeedVision could return, but I digress...
        Just Me
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Chayil
        Another positive aspect of the current Speed coverage is the thoughtful race intros by Sam Posey.
          Drakkon
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Just Me
          One of the best parts on the F1 broadcast.
      David S.
      • 2 Years Ago
      "NBC has touted its online coverage of sporting events such as the Olympics..." Oh yeah, because we've all seen how well that went.
      rtkewley
      • 2 Years Ago
      Given that NBC Sports is what used to be Versus, and IndyCar would like nothing more than to get out of their TV deal because the channels' viewership is so low, it's hard to see how this is a positive for F1. As others have commented, it's also hard to imagine NBC will care enough to find a team as good as Varsha/Hobbs/Machett to cover it. Ah well, at least we few Americans that actually care about F1 will continue to be able to watch it...
        Chayil
        • 2 Years Ago
        @rtkewley
        Great post and one which I heartily agree with.
      Steve
      • 2 Years Ago
      This can't be good
      GeeDavy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Please tell me that Steve Matchett and David Hobbs come in the deal?
      LOLO
      • 2 Years Ago
      anyone notice speed = #%#$ now They cant do anything but host nascar shows they should just call it nascar channel I watch nascar races but they have to many shows Im still sour over how they cut LE MANS coverage to broadcast an emergency right side tire test for 2 hours with Fan reaction and driver reaction to this SHOW STOPPING event! They need to drop all those shows and bring back ALMS DTM (and not DTM for xmas after the season is over) touring car better raly coverage. Instead they put all the good stuff on the web. The only other thing SPEED has down is motorcycle racing. They do that right FIM MOTOGP SUPERBIKE. Petit Le Mans is coming up and speed is again no where to be found but they will be showing nascar trackside so we can watch drivers Sackrace and watergun fight eachother for 3 hours before a race.
      pounded
      • 2 Years Ago
      Best news in years, now just bring along Matchett and Hobbs.
      Hal Jordan
      • 2 Years Ago
      We humans resist change. I am not hopeful. I am pessimistic. The onus is on NBC to prove my suspicions wrong. I watch Indycar a lot. Coverage is adequate, but not good. I absolutely never miss F1 coverage on Speed. Coverage is very good, and almost everything that happens is crystal clear. If you eff this up, NBC, I will find tricky internet methods to watch F1 coverage. And so will a lot of other F1 fans. You, NBC, are on probation from day one!
      TrippulG3
      • 2 Years Ago
      Gotta say, I'm not terribly pleased about this. I agree, I really hope they can find a way to convince Matchett, Hobbs, and Buxton to switch networks and carry on with their coverage. I actually like Varsha too, but as others have pointed out, he seems to have other obligations (i.e. Barrett Jackson) which would tie him to Speed. . I assume this means that we'll be losing Formula 1 Debrief as well, which is a real shame. I really enjoyed watching that and getting caught up before every quali session.
      Felspawn
      • 2 Years Ago
      /announcement! "F Alonso!" /that is all..
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