In a press release on Tuesday, March 11, the NBC television network stated that it will begin live track coverage of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship on Thursday, March 13 with the first practice session from Melbourne ahead of the Australian Grand Prix. NBCSN will air P1 live starting at 9:30 p.m. Eastern on Thursday. P2 will also air live on NBCSN starting at 1:30 a.m. ET on Friday, March 14.
The rest of the weekend’s live Australian Grand Prix track coverage will air as follows:
Qualifying – Saturday, March 15 on NBCSN starting at 2 a.m. ET – LIVE. Race – Sunday, March 16 on NBCSN starting at 1:30 a.m. ET – LIVE.
Both qualifying and the race itself will be re-broadcast as well:
Re-broadcast qualifying – NBCSN, 6 a.m. ET on Sat. 3/15. Re-broadcast race – NBCSN, 6:30 a.m. ET on Sun. 3/16.
According to the NBC Sports Group, the network plans coverage of all 19 Formula 1 races of the season, over 175 hours total, across its properties of NBC, NBCSN, and CNBC.
Race commentators will remain the same as for the 2013 season – Leigh Diffey, David Hobbs, and Steve Matchett in the studio with Will Buxton as the on-site pit reporter. The entire team will be on site for the Grands Prix of Monaco (May 25), Canada (June 8), and the United States (November 2).
The network also plans to broadcast its own regular pre-race and post-race programming, “F1 Countdown” and “F1 Extra,” again this season. Formula 1-related special features will also be shown at the start of, and throughout, the 2014 season.
Related special programming Thursday evening, March 13, on NBCSN, includes the half-hour show “Sebastian Vettel: On Road and On Track” (about the 4-time champ's career) beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET, and “Road to Ferrari,” (Will Buxton's travels from the Hungarian Grand Prix to Maranello) running from 11:00 p.m. to midnight ET. Another special, “Horse Power,” (about Ferrari's efforts to transition to the 2014 season's new requirements) will air from midnight to 1:00 a.m. ET Friday.
According to NBC, “due to scheduling conflicts, live coverage of the Great Britain, German and Hungarian Grands Prix will air on CNBC, NBCUniversal’s fully-distributed business channel.”
Starting with the 2013 Formula 1 season, NBC took over American television coverage of the global racing series from the SPEED network.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Connie Ann Kirk, Ph.D. has been credentialed by the FIA to write about Formula 1. With a historic racer from upstate New York, she is writing a book about racers and racing. Visit her motor sports blog at Motor Sport Muse.