The IndyCar Series on NBC is the branding used for NBC Sports Network's telecasts of IndyCar Series races. During the race broadcast, they introduced IndyCar Non-Stop with a format and appearance nearly identical to that of Side-By-Side.
When the SCCA/CART PPG World Series was created in 1979 NBC broadcast the races through the TV series NBC Sportsworld. NBC soon became the exclusive broadcast partner of CART (although the series' most prestigious race, the Indianapolis 500 was sanctioned by USAC who had a contract with ABC).
By the mid-1980s CART started having races aired on both ESPN and ABC. The final season NBC aired CART races was in 1994 and by then the only race they aired was the Molson Indy Toronto.
On August 7, 2008, Versus announced a 10-year deal with the Indy Racing League to broadcast at least 13 IndyCar Series events a year in high-definition. The deal began with the 2009 season, with Versus televising at least 13 races per season. ABC would continue to broadcast the Indianapolis 500 until initially, 2012 and later, 2018), as well as four additional races. Versus began airing one hour pre-race shows the day before a given race. The channel would also broadcast various motorsports series on its Lucas Oil Motorsports Hour program such as USAC and Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.
On January 2, 2012, Versus was relaunched as the NBC Sports Network.
Races broadcast by Versus/NBC Sports Network (since 2009):
Indianapolis 500 Time trials and Carb Day,
Grand Prix of Baltimore,
Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg,
Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama,
Honda Indy Toronto,
Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio,
MAVtv American Real 500 IZOD IndyCar World Championships - In 2011, ABC was awarded broadcast rights for the season finale after several years of the final race airing on Versus.,
São Paulo Indy 300,
Shell-Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston,
Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach,
Firestone Twin 275s,
Iowa Corn Indy 250,
Bob Jenkins (Jenkins was signed as the chief announcer, and returned to Indy racing full-time for the first time since 2001), Jon Beekhuis, and Robbie Buhl were initially on the broadcast team along with Jack Arute, Robbie Floyd, and Lindy Thackston in the pits.
In August 2009, Indianapolis Star reporter Curt Cavin said that Arute would be leaving ESPN at the end of 2009 in favor of Versus full-time. He was fired from Versus due to cost-cutting moves after the merger with NBCUniversal. He was replaced by Kevin Lee, who is also a pit reporter for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Network.
Meanwhile, Wally Dallenbach, Jr. joined the Versus broadcast team following the merger of Versus' owner Comcast with NBCUniversal, replacing Robbie Buhl.
List of commentors:
This list only reflects those who appeared on NBC Sports Network (formerly known as Versus).
Bob Jenkins (2009-present) - Was lead broadcaster until the end of 2012, and is a reserve broadcaster; will work some races when Leigh Diffey is unavailable, with Indianapolis 500 Carburetion Day being his official duty for 2013.,
Brian Till (2012-present) - Works American Le Mans Series/IndyCar joint weekends as a reserve broadcaster. Used at the Grand Prix of Baltimore on NBC Sports Network while Jenkins was out for the weekend, and anchored the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in 2013.,
Leigh Diffey (2013-present) - Diffey replaces Bob Jenkins, who retired after the 2012 season, starting in 2013. Although Diffey (who also anchor NBC's coverage of the Formula One World Championship) missed both the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (due to him announcing the Bahrain Grand Prix) and Indianapolis 500 qualifying and Carburetion Day (due to him announcing the Monaco Grand Prix.,
Jon Beekhuis (2009-2012),
Robbie Buhl (2009-2010),
Wally Dallenbach, Jr. (2011-present) - Dallenbach is forced to skip summer races that interfere with color commentary duties on TNT's coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.,
Dan Wheldon (2011) - Wheldon subbed for Dallenbach in the booth at the Firestone Twin 275s and the Iowa Corn 250 and appeared with Dallenbach in the booth at the Honda Indy Toronto.,
Graham Rahal (2011 Edmonton Indy) - Rahal appeared in booth after being taken out of the race on the first lap due to contact with Paul Tracy.,
Alex Tagliani (2011 Kentucky Indy 300) - Tagliani appeared in booth after Dan Wheldon replaced Tagliani in his regular ride at Sam Schmidt Motorsports for the race.,
Tommy Kendall (2012) - Kendall subbed for Dallenbach in the booth at the Firestone 550 and the Iowa Corn Indy 250 in place of Dallenbach.,
Dario Franchitti (2012 Iowa Corn Indy 250) - Franchitti joined the booth after blowing an engine before the green flag flew.,
Townsend Bell (2013-present),
David Hobbs (2013 Milwaukee IndyFest) - Hobbs' automobile dealership in Wisconsin has previously sponsored support races at Milwaukee, and will substitute for Dallenbach.,
Steve Matchett (2013 Honda Indy Toronto) - Matchett will substitute for Dallenbach during the two Toronto races.,
Jack Arute (2009-2010),
Robbie Floyd (2009-2010),
Lindy Thackston (2009-2011),
Robin Miller (2011-present),
Kevin Lee (2011-present),
Townsend Bell (2012),
Marty Snider (2011-present),
Jon Beekhuis (2013-present),
Will Buxton (2013-present) Indianapolis 500 Carburetion Day and 2013 Milwaukee IndyFest only.,
Host of IndyCar Central:
Lindy Thackston (2009; 2010, co-host with Bob Jenkins, and 2011 co-host with Robin Miller),
Robin Miller (2011 with Lindy Thackston and 2012 with Kevin Lee),
Bob Jenkins (2010, co-host with Lindy Thackston),
Kevin Lee (2012, co-host with Robin Miller)
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license