INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — NBC Sports heads into its third Indianapolis 500 not ready to wave the checkered flag on its partnership with Roger Penske’s open-wheel racing series.
IndyCar’s current deal with NBC Sports is in its final season and contract negotiations are unclear. There have been reports Penske will take a higher rights fee from a new partner and that NBC has fallen out of the running on a renewal.
Sam Flood, executive producer and president of production of NBC Sports, said Wednesday the network wants to keep the racing series.
“We love IndyCar, we love the Indy 500, we love the partnership we have and hope we can continue that partnership,” Flood said. “All I know is we are fans of this relationship and want it to continue.”
ABC aired the Indianapolis 500 for 58 years in a deal that ended in 2018. The IndyCar television package was often split between networks, but not until NBC took over the entire schedule in 2019 did the network also get its first crack at “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
NBC Sports counts IndyCar among a hefty motorsports programming schedule that includes NASCAR, IMSA sports cars, MotoGP and Supercross. If another network wants to wrest IndyCar away from NBC, Flood said his team set a standard in coverage that would be tough to beat.
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