On January 3, IndyCar announced its television broadcast schedule for the 2018 season. Broadcast partners ESPN on ABC and NBC Universal will return in March to provide season-long coverage of the Verizon IndyCar Series, with a line-up that mirrors the 2017 television schedule.
Beginning with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, ABC will provide seven days of IndyCar coverage during the 2018 season. The network is slated to broadcast the Indianapolis Grand Prix, both days of Indianapolis 500 qualifying, the two races at the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, as well as their telecast of the 102nd Indianapolis 500 in May.
It will mark the 54th year in which ABC has been the primary broadcast partner of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.
Carrying much of the schedule, the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) will feature race weekend coverage at 12 events over the course of the 2018 IndyCar campaign.
NBCSN kicks off their 2018 season coverage with three straight weekends of IndyCar coverage, starting with the Grand Prix of Phoenix on April 7. After ABC finishes up their broadcasting duties in Detroit, NBCSN will carry the rest of the series slate starting with the Texas Indy 600 on June 9.
The summer series features races at Road America, Iowa Speedway, the Streets of Toronto, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Pocono Raceway, Gateway Motorsports Park, and the return of IndyCar racing at Portland International Raceway on September 2.
The season will conclude with NBCSN’s coverage of the IndyCar finale at Sonoma Raceway, to be held September 16 with a start time of 6:30 p.m. Eastern time.
Furthermore, an upgrade was announced to one of the most exciting parts of the viewing experience for IndyCar races on ABC and NBCSN.
In addition to the cameras frequently used above and behind the drivers’ heads, IndyCar announced that new on-board cameras will be utilized for some of the new aero kit parts.
Those cameras will be mounted at the nose, sidepod and rear attenuator. Also of note, the series announced plans for expanded use of its popular visor camera that is mounted on the drivers’ helmet.
“This is a unique opportunity to bring the sport even closer to the television audience,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co. (IMS and IndyCar’s parent company). “INDYCAR has experienced 38 percent growth in audience over the past four years and providing a firsthand look at the exhilarating action is a way to win over even more fans.”
Excitement has been plentiful ever since the 2018 universal aero kit was announced last year. New on-board cameras will give die-hard fans a chance to see the car they have been clamoring for in unique ways, and new fans a fresh and exciting look at the competition.