NBCSN’s 2016 VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES Coverage Begins Saturday

NBCSN kicks off its 2016 Verizon INDYCAR SERIES coverage this weekend with live coverage of the Phoenix Grand Prix this Saturday night in primetime at 8:30 p.m. ET.

NBCSN also continues its coverage of the 2016 Formula One season with comprehensive coverage of the F1 Bahrain Grand Prix, culminating in live race coverage Sunday at 10:30 a.m. ET.

NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group's live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs – will provide comprehensive streaming coverage of this week's INDYCAR and F1 telecasts.

INDYCAR PHOENIX GRAND PRIX – SATURDAY AT 8:30 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

NBCSN begins its coverage of the 2016 Verizon INDYCAR SERIES this Saturday in the desert southwest with primetime coverage of the Phoenix Grand Prix. Two weekends ago at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg,Juan Pablo Montoya (Penske) held off teammate Simon Pagenaud to win the first race of the 2016 campaign. NBCSN's coverage begins Friday at 1 p.m. ET with live coverage of practice, followed by live coverage of qualifying on Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. ET.

This week's race marks IndyCar's first race at Phoenix International Raceway in more than a decade (2005). Current drivers Tony Kanaan (Chip Ganassi Racing) and Helio Castroneves (Penske) have won previously at Phoenix International Raceway. NBCSN INDYCAR analyst Paul Tracy was a two-time winner at Phoenix (1988 and 1990) in the American Racing Series, the precursor to the current Indy Lights series.

Rick Allen, who serves as NBC Sports Group's lead NASCAR play-by-play announcer, will handle the play-by-play duties for this week's Phoenix Grand Prix, filling in for lead INDYCAR and F1 announcer Leigh Diffey, who will call the F1 Bahrain Grand Prix. Paul Tracy, who won 31 career open-wheel races spanning IndyCar, Champ Car, and CART, and was the 2003 CART Champion, returns for his third season as race analyst. Townsend Bell, who has raced nine times at the Indianapolis 500 and won the GT Class at last year's Rolex 24 at Daytona, is back for his fourth season in the booth.

Marty Snider, Robin Miller, Kevin Lee, and Katie Hargitt, will handle coverage in the pits in Phoenix. Click here for NBCSN's full INDYCAR schedule.

NBCSN is coming off its most-watched INDYCAR season ever, averaging more than 500,000 viewers across 11 races in 2015, up 34% vs. 2014 viewership. The season finale at Sonoma averaged 841,000 viewers to become the most-watched INDYCAR race on NBCSN since rights were acquired in 2009, and the most-watched INDYCAR race on cable in seven years.

Click here for more information on NBCSN's record INDYCAR viewership in 2015.

FORMULA ONE BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX – SUNDAY AT 10:30 A.M. ET ON NBCSN

Coverage of the F1 season continues on NBCSN this Sunday at 10:30 a.m. ET with the Bahrain Grand Prix from Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain. Two weeks ago in the season-opening race in Australia, Mercedes' Nico Rosberg defeated teammate and defending F1 world champion Lewis Hamiltonby eight seconds. Haas F1, the first American F1 team in 30 years, had a strong debut at the Australian Grand Prix, as Romain Grosjean finished in sixth place to earn points in the team's first race.

Live coverage begins exclusively on NBC Sports Live Extra on Friday at 7 a.m. ET with Practice 1, followed by NBCSN's live coverage of Practice 2 on Friday at 11 a.m. ET. Live Extra's coverage continues Saturday at 8 a.m. ET with Practice 3, and shifts to CNBC for qualifying at 11 a.m. ET. Live Bahrain Grand Prix coverage begins Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. ET, followed by F1 EXTRA at 1 p.m. ET.

Lead F1 announcer Leigh Diffey will call this weekend's action, and will be joined by veteran analyst and former racecar driver David Hobbs, and analyst and former race mechanic for the Benetton F1 team Steve Matchett. F1 insider Will Buxton will serve as the team's on-site reporter from Bahrain International Circuit.

NBCSN began its 2016 F1 coverage two weekends ago with the Australian Grand Prix, and the network's comprehensive F1 coverage for that week reached a total audience of nearly 1.9 million viewers, up 14% from last year (1.892 million vs. 1.654).

Following is this week's motorsports coverage schedule on NBCSN and CNBC:

Date Program Network Time (ET)
Fri., April 1 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix – Practice 1 NBC Sports Live Extra 7 a.m.
F1 Bahrain Grand Prix – Practice 2 NBCSN 11 a.m.
/DRIVE on NBC Sports – Middle East NBCSN 12:30 p.m.
IndyCar Phoenix Grand Prix – Practice NBCSN 1 p.m.
IndyCar Chronicles – Scott Dixon NBCSN 2:30 p.m.
IndyCar Phoenix Grand Prix – Qualifying NBCSN 5 p.m.
F1 Bahrain Grand Prix – Practice 2 (Encore) NBCSN 11 p.m.
Sat., April 2 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix – Practice 3 NBC Sports Live Extra 8 a.m.
F1 Bahrain Grand Prix – Qualifying CNBC 11 a.m.
F1 Bahrain Grand Prix – Qualifying (Encore) NBCSN 12:30 p.m.
Lucas Oil Motorsport Hour NBCSN 4 p.m.
Lucas Oil Motorsport Hour NBCSN 5 p.m.
Haas F1: America's Return to The Grid (Encore) NBCSN 6:30 p.m.
NASCAR K&N Series – Greenville Pickens NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
IndyCar Phoenix Grand Prix – Pre-Race NBCSN 8:30 p.m.
IndyCar Phoenix Grand Prix NBCSN 9 p.m.
IndyCar Phoenix Grand Prix – Post-Race NBCSN 11 p.m.
Sun., April 3 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix NBCSN 10:30 a.m.
F1 Extra NBCSN 1 p.m.
Mon., April 4 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix (Encore) NBCSN 12:30 p.m.
IndyCar Phoenix Grand Prix (Encore) NBCSN 3 p.m.

NBC SPORTS GROUP STREAMING, DIGITAL AND SOCIAL CONTENT

NBC Sports Group will provide comprehensive streaming and digital coverage surrounding its motorsports properties via NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group's live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets – and NASCAR Talk and MotorSportsTalk, NBC Sports Group's digital home for the latest motorsports news.

NBC Sports Live Extra will provide season-long live streaming coverage of all Formula One practices, qualifying sessions and Grands Prix, including exclusive coverage of practices that will not air on NBC or NBCSN. Live Extra will stream all live NASCAR and INDYCAR content that will air on NBC and NBCSN (race coverage and some practice and qualifying). In addition, Live Extra will provide streaming coverage of the LUCAS OIL PRO MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP and RED BULL GLOBAL RALLYCROSS series.

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