NBC going ‘Back Home Again’ with Indianapolis 500 special May 24
Indianapolis 500 champions Simon Pagenaud and Alexander Rossi will join NBC Sports’ Mike Tirico for an enhanced encore presentation of the 2019 Indianapolis 500 – Indy 500 Special: Back Home Again.
The program will air Sunday, May 24, at 2 p.m. ET on NBC and will celebrate “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” and provide fans with exclusive, new content from the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The enhanced presentation will feature a prerace conversation on-site from Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Tirico, 2019 champion Simon Pagenaud, and 2016 winner Alexander Rossi (last year’s runner-up to Pagenaud), alongside the famed Yard of Bricks.
Once the green flag drops, Pagenaud and Rossi will provide exclusive commentary during the broadcast, sharing their personal perspectives on key moments throughout the race and their memorable back-and-forth battle. that punctuated NBC Sports’ inaugural Indy 500 broadcast last year.
“The goal of our enhanced broadcast is to honor the traditions of ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,’ and re-live elements of last year’s race through Simon Pagenaud and Alexander Rossi as they battled back-and-forth to the checkered flag,” said Sam Flood, executive producer and president, production, NBC and NBCSN. “We know the excitement, anticipation and intensity will be that much higher for the 2020 Indianapolis 500 on Aug. 23 on NBC, and we’re excited for the return of INDYCAR at Texas Motor Speedway on June 6 on NBCSN.”
“For more than a century, the Indy 500 at the Racing Capital of the World has served as a powerful and stirring tribute to our nation’s shared history of service, sacrifice and excellence,” Penske Entertainment Corp. President & CEO Mark Miles said. “While this Memorial Day weekend will certainly be different, we’re pleased to join our partners at NBC Sports in continuing this tradition through this special TV presentation. We look forward to recognizing both our military and frontline COVID-19 heroes while providing motorsports fans some intense and behind-the-scenes INDYCAR action through the race replay.”
The enhanced broadcast will also feature traditional pre-race elements to recognize the military traditions of the Indy 500, as well as special additions to honor those who are currently fighting on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Coverage will also include an essay by Tim Layden on a look at a different “Month of May” and a look ahead to the return of racing at IMS. NBC Sports’ lead INDYCAR play-by-play voice Leigh Diffey will provide commentary looking ahead to the start of the 2020 NTT INDYCAR Series at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 6, on NBCSN.
NBC Sports’ inaugural presentation of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” on NBC in 2019 averaged a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 5.475 million viewers, up 11% vs. the 2018 race (TV-only 4.913 million, ABC). Overall, viewership for the 2019 INDYCAR season on NBC and NBCSN (16 races) was up 9% vs. 2018 season viewership (ABC, NBCSN, digital).