On the date of the originally-scheduled 2020 Indianapolis 500, NBC Sports will celebrate the traditions of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” with its enhanced presentation of the 2019 Indianapolis 500 – Indy 500 Special: Back Home Again – this Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on NBC.
The enhanced race broadcast will feature a new pre-race program from Indianapolis Motor Speedway hosted by Mike Tirico, honoring the military traditions of the Indy 500 and the healthcare workers who are currently fighting on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pre-race coverage will include:
· A performance of God Bless America by Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgery residents Dr. Elvis Francois and Dr. William Robinson
· A star-studded Star-Spangled Banner performance by more than a dozen Big Machine Label Group artists, headlined by Sheryl Crow, Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett and Rascal Flatts;
· A special message from USS Indianapolis Commander Colin Kane;
· Mike Tirico’s interview with 2019 Indy 500 winner Simon Pagenaud and 2016 Indy 500 champion and 2019 runner-up Alexander Rossi.
Behind-the-scenes footage of NBC Sports’ production shoot at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Indy 500 Special: Back Home Again.
Once the green flag drops, Pagenaud and Rossi will provide exclusive commentary during the broadcast, sharing their perspectives on key moments throughout the race and their memorable back-and-forth battle.
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.
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).