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NBC Sports to feature 19.5 hours of Monaco coverage, with race live on NBC

May 22, 2013, 7:00 AM EDT

Red Bull Racing's Australian driver Mark Getty Images

For the first time, Formula One’s famed Monaco Grand Prix will air live on network television Sunday, May 26 at 7:30 a.m. ET on NBC. NBC Sports Group will present a total of 19.5 hours of Monaco coverage from Thursday to Sunday, May 23-26, across NBC, NBC Sports Network and NBC Sports Live Extra. Race day, Sunday May 26, will begin with a live pre-race show at 7 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Network, “Mimosas from Monaco,” and conclude with F1 Extra, NBC Sports Network’s half-hour post-race show, live from Monaco after the race.

Coverage from Monaco also includes live practice, qualifying and GP2 races on NBC Sports Network. Practice will air live on Thursday, May 23, at 8 a.m. ET. Qualifying will air live on Saturday, May 25, at 8 a.m. ET. In addition, NBC Sports Network will air two GP2 races, F1’s developmental series, at 12 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 26.

NBC Sports Group’s Monaco Grand Prix Coverage (subject to change):

Date Coverage Network Time (ET)
Thurs., May 23 Practice NBCSN 8 a.m.
Fri., May 24 Practice Encore NBCSN 1:30 a.m.
Fri., May 24 Practice Encore NBCSN 11:30 p.m.
Sat., May 25 Qualifying NBCSN 8 a.m.
Sat., May 25 Qualifying Encore NBCSN 10:30 p.m.
Sun., May 26 GP2 Race 1 NBCSN 12 a.m.
Sun., May 26 Pre-Race Show NBCSN 7 a.m.
Sun., May 26 Monaco Grand Prix NBC 7:30 a.m.
Sun., May 26 F1 Extra NBCSN 10 a.m.
Sun., May 26 Monaco Grand Prix Encore NBCSN 10:30 a.m.
Sun., May 26 F1 Extra Encore NBCSN 1 p.m.
Sun., May 26 GP2 Race 2 NBCSN 1:30 p.m.
Sun., May 26 Monaco Grand Prix Encore NBCSN 10:30 p.m.

COMMENTATORS ON SITE: NBC Sports Group’s F1 announce booth will be on site to capture the unique glitz-and-glamour atmosphere of the Monaco Grand Prix. Leigh Diffey will serve as lead race announcer alongside veteran analyst and former racecar driver David Hobbs, analyst and former race mechanic for the Benetton F1 team Steve Matchett, and F1 insider and journalist Will Buxton.

ON MONACO:

Diffey: “Monaco is so special because people want to see something they can’t believe they are seeing, and that is the Monaco Grand Prix in a nutshell. It is an unbelievable spectacle. Cars that are way too fast for the track they are racing on, a track way too narrow for the speed of the cars. The element of danger is way too high for the modern day sport. But that is why Monaco is Monaco.”

Hobbs: “Monaco is one of the older races on the calendar and the circuit has changed very little over the nearly 90 years of running. Monaco is built around a fabulous natural harbor filled with the world’s most expensive yachts and a backdrop of gorgeous mountains. Throw in 20 or so multimillionaire drivers, team owners and top technicians in the most glamorous spot in the world, spiced with high danger content, and you end up with the most unique weekend of any sporting event in the world.”

ON THE RACE:

Diffey: “The form guide over the past three years screams Infiniti Red Bull Racing, but if you base it on the last Grand Prix everything points at Ferrari. With that being said, the Mercedes AMG Petronas team has shown incredible qualifying speed this year and qualifying well at Monaco is paramount.”

Hobbs: “This is the race all drivers and teams want to win. It has that extra something driven by its vintage location and crowd. It is a difficult race between very unforgiving walls, miles of guardrail, tightness of the turns and the narrow width of the road. It’s a tiring event for drivers and controlled aggression is key for a driver. Go fast, but keep off the walls.”

ON THE DRIVERS:

Diffey: “Over the last seven years there are only two drivers who have won more than once. Mark Webber has won two of the last three years and Fernando Alonso won back to back in 2006-07. Drivers who like Monaco always do well there and those guys are definitely in that group.”

Hobbs: “This year is proving to be very competitive. Team Ferrari is on a roll and Fernando Alonso, previous winner in Monaco, always goes well here. Red Bull and Mark Webber, two-time Monaco winner will go well – their car is suited to most tracks. Kimi Raikkonen in his Lotus should shine here, and Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes is fast every time he comes here.

NBC SPORTS DIGITAL & SOCIAL COVERAGE

F1 ON NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA: NBC Sports Live Extra — NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets — will live stream the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday, May 26, as well as qualifying on Saturday, May 25, and practice on Thursday, May 23. A vast majority of coverage will be streamed via “TV Everywhere,” the media industry’s effort to make quality content available to authenticated customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms.

For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at NBCSports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app for mobile devices and tablets is available at the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and on select Android handset and tablet devices within Google Play.

Coverage airing on:

  • NBC will live stream to PCs, mobile devices and tablets through NBC Sports Live Extra;
  • NBC Sports Network will live stream to PCs, mobile devices and tablets through NBC Sports Live Extra, and to the digital platforms of participating cable, satellite, and telco services, via “TV Everywhere,” which is available on an authenticated basis to subscribers of participating MVPDs.

F1 ON MOTORSPORTSTALK: MotorSportsTalk (@MotorSportsTalk) on NBCSports.com brings racing fans up-to-the-minute news, video and information on Formula One™, IZOD IndyCar Series, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and all other motorsports racing from around the world. The site also serves as the destination for all news, analysis and video from NBC and NBC Sports Network productions of F1 and IndyCar, including contributions from on-air commentators.

MotorSportsTalk’s content is provided by top racing journalists and expert analysts, including:

  • Keith Collantine (@KeithCollantine), editor and creator of the F1Fanatic blog;
  • Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1) creator of the F1 site RichlandF1.com.

To explore the site, please visit MotorSportsTalk.com.nbcsports.com or www.NBCSports.com.

SOCIAL: Follow @MotorsportsTalk@F1onNBCSports and @NBCSN on Twitter and “like” Facebook.com/NBC Sports for the most up-to-date news, videos and commentary about Formula One on NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network.

Commentator Twitter Chats – During the week of the Monaco race, F1 on NBC Sports commentators including @leighdiffey@mrstevematchett@mrdavidhobbs and @willbuxton will take part in various Twitter Chats allowing fans to get their questions answered from our very own experts.

  1. purplesectornet - May 22, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    ahhhhh…it’s good to be an F1 fan, have not missed a race since 1996!

  2. moezilla - May 22, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    Isn’t it funny how NBC SPORTS is bragging up their coverage of Monaco while failing to acknowledge their piss pour attempts to cover the qualifying for Indy….I had around 5 or 6 hours of “coverage” recorded to my DVR….when I sat down to watch it last Sunday night, I was rewarded with around 3 or 4 qualifying runs for the 25th through 30th spots, 3 hours of TV filler/interviews, some horse racing BS, and a 3rd place amateur hockey game. Why brag up your coverage of the “Fast 9″ and then not even show it? Here’s hoping there’s a water main break in Monaco and the race has to be cancelled…AND THIS COMING FROM A FAN OF FORMULA 1!…

    • rshunter71 - May 25, 2013 at 11:39 PM

      Don’t feel slighted. The F1 coverage sucks just as bad, and is just as misrepresented.

      I’ve tuned in to catch the scheduled encore presentation of Monaco Qualifying, having been unable to catch it this morning. Instead of seeing what was, according to the promo clips, one of the best qualifying sessions in recent memory, I’m looking at the Indiana State Pork Exhibition.

      Wait, they’ve just mentioned that it is, in fact, the 500 Festival Parade. My mistake, I should have expected the unscheduled showing of a parade on a “sports” network…

      • greenarcher2013 - May 26, 2013 at 2:39 PM

        I am with you both on this one. I watch more F1 but also enjoy open wheel here in the states. This coverage for all of it is choppy and disorganized in ways that I can’t even comment on here without being censored.
        CNBC for a race? what a friggin’ joke this whole thing is turning out to be.
        Keep this stuff on the SPORTS network or don’t bother.

  3. purplesectornet - May 22, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    Wait what? So you expect this press release to include information about their coverage of IndyCar? lol!

  4. giborex - May 22, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    So glad to see that NBC/NBC Sports is actually sending the guys to the race.

  5. christophersen - May 22, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    I think I would watch this if I didn’t live on the west coast. Hmm =/. But I’m not missing the Indy 500!!

  6. apm - May 23, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    Glad to see GP2 back on the schedule!

    • rshunter71 - May 25, 2013 at 11:44 PM

      I’ll believe it when the race is actually displayed on my TV screen, and not a moment before.

      At this point, I’m praying that Al-Jazeera buys the rights and airs it on beIN SPORT…

  7. missingbobvarsha - May 23, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    Please do something to get Bob Varsha. Leigh Diffey is terrible. He talks too much and has an annoying voice. He drowns out David Hobbs and Steve Matchett. I can’t stand to listen to Leigh Diffey so much I have to watch Formula on mute which means I miss Hobbs and Matchett’s commentary, which I love! Diffey just does not mesh with Hobbs and Matchett like Varsha does. The funny bantering between the three of them is also gone. NBC Sports has ruined watching Formula 1 and I have been watching for over 10 years.

    • janinwashingtonstate - May 28, 2013 at 2:26 PM

      I’ve been whining about losing Bob Varsha on Speed and ESPN–Leigh Diffey is a joke. Yes,he knows racing, but he is annoying beyond belief. I hate to say it, but he’s almost as bad as Paul Page and Uncle Bobby.

      While I’m whining, I also miss Bob Jenkins on the Indy-Car broadcasts. Giving that spot to Diffey as well is just adding insult to injury. Still, my all time favorite announce team was Bob Jenkins, Ned Jarrett and dear Benny Parsons on ESPN’s NASCAR broadcasts. (God be good to Benny, please.)

      I’ve been watching and listening to Varsha since the early days of ESPN, when the boys actually WENT to the races.

  8. purplesectornet - May 23, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    We don’t really know the story of why Bob didn’t come over to NBC…but this is unfair to Diffey, his enthusiasm for F1 is genuine…considering we have had Rick Debruhl and Mike Joy in the past…Diffey is just fine…

    • rshunter71 - May 25, 2013 at 11:52 PM

      Paul Page has a lot of enthusiasm, too. He still sucks.

      He should stick to announcing hot-dog eating contests…

  9. bobnewisme - May 24, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    I’m very disappointed that Bob Varsha is not on NBC’s F1 commentator team. He has been my favorite open wheel commentator for many years….. since way before the Indycar series split. I want Bob on NBC for F1 !!!!!

  10. dtmatthe2013 - May 26, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    Really? I understand re-broadcasting at better time-slots (especially the Asian races) for advertising revenue etc. But sliding the Monaco Grand Prix by just two hours and then leading your coverage with the POST race coverage PRIOR to broadcasting the actual event?!? Who came up with that idea? You just ruined my experience of, arguably, the premier automotive event in the world. Moving forward, If I were given the opportunity to exercise my choice in the matter, I would. But it doesn’t look like i’ll have that chance. So my only hope is that somebody at NBC reads this and does something about it.

    • timbaf430 - May 26, 2013 at 11:44 AM

      Unbelievable
      NBC’s own program listing (as well as Directv’s) didn’t say anything about the Post Race Recap being shown BEOFRE the actual race. Can you imagine my disappointment when I turned on the TV and the first thing said (after a full 7 minutes of commercials) was that Nico Rosberg had just won the race. Come on guys, someone must have known that this was going to be a problem. If not, then you really are a bunch of clowns.

      • kc1174 - May 26, 2013 at 2:49 PM

        Exact same situation here, but on Fios. It’s the Olympics all over again. Pure incompetence. Expect delayed soccer games to show us 30 mins of result coverage and recaps and interviews before the actual game. Somehow a 10:30 EST start didn’t compute and I had no idea the race was live on NBC. Literally just sat down to watch the race and instead saw who won. Pathetic.

  11. rshunter71 - May 28, 2013 at 12:50 AM

    I once believed that NBC, in all its forms, sucked beyond all possible limits when it was owned by General Electric. It couldn’t possibly get any worse under new ownership, I thought when word came of its sale.

    Boy, oh boy, was I ever WRONG…

  12. lokimgne - May 28, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    I will never trust the NBC Sports Programing Schedule again.

    Tried to DVR the First Encore of the Monaco GP on Sunday night. What I recorded was the end of the Hockey game and post game as well as the first 40 laps of the race……..

    After this disappointment I tried to DVR the Second Encore of the GP on Monday night. What I recorded was the Indy 500 Parade, the GP2 Race, and an episode of NHL 36.

    Cant remember the last time I missed the GP of Monaco or an F1 race for that matter. Extremely disappointed!!

    Does anyone know how long NBC owns the rights to show F1? If this is long term then I pray the content improves.

    Steve Matchett needs his own show or maybe a web series (i.e. Chalk Talk), it would really go a long way in adding depth to your coverage!

    Come on NBC Sports ppl, I think you can do much better..

  13. capvid86 - May 28, 2013 at 11:31 PM

    Unbelievable disappointment in the NBC-SN Monaco F1 coverage!!!!
    Local Comcast cable TV guide showed NBC-SN coverage at 10:30am Sunday, which was the same as the listing on the network’s website,
    No mention of a live broadcast prior to the re-air at 10:30am on that network.
    Yes, the race aired live on local NBC affiliate, but my DVR was set for the 10:30 re-air.
    Some idiot decides to show the race live on both networks and the race runs long.
    Same idiot must have decided that 10:30am slot was suitable to re-air a street race that would likely run long in the first place.
    So when my family sits down Sunday night and starts recorded F1 show, we are greeted with finishers on the podium and race is spoiled for everyone.
    Since the re-air race starts late, he recording doesn’t cover the last half of the race.
    So I set DVR to record next re-air at 10:30pm.
    Guess what?
    No F1 race recorded at that time slot, just some other crap on the network until an hour or so in when the Indy 500 Festival Parade show comes on.
    Well at least I captured that, since it wasn’t on (pre-empted by last half of “Senna”) when I tried to record it on Saturday.
    Bottom line is that both Sunday listings for the race on NBC-SN were wrong and my family ended up not even getting to see the last half of the race, even after having the finish spoiled from the very start.
    NBC-SN needs to go back to being an all-soccer network and leave motorsports for a professional (Speed) network to cover.
    Pathetic.

  14. 4ref50 - Jun 7, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    I too, think Bob Varsha was really good, being the anchor for F1…but I believe he was still under contract to ESPN, hence he could not move across, full time, albeit, he does stand in for Leigh Diffey on a couple of occasions…but having said that Hobbs and Matchett are a pair of clowns…

    During the recent Monaco Formula 1 weekend, Leigh Diffey constantly referred with his co presenter, ‘Formula 1 Driver Expert’ Mr David Hobbs, that Hobbs raced in the past, at Monaco. Mr Hobbs concurred on numerous occasions during the weekend that this was indeed true and he had raced there.
    Having followed Formula 1 for over 50 years, with my limited knowledge, I could not remember with any certainty that this was a true statement. I wrote to various people connected to F1 NBC, even Leigh Diffey if they could clarify this statement, but alas no responses were forth coming. I subsequently wrote to a variety of independent ‘F1 Historian Researches’, asking the simple question.?? Did Mr David Hobbs ever race at Monaco in any category. All of the experts came back, stating they could NOT find any information regarding Mr David Hobbs, racing/driving at Monaco.
    I find it disheartening, that a so called ‘Formula 1 Driver Expert” is in a position with NBC, giving commentary and statements that are very economical with the truth, or, in fact total BS. With only six or seven F1 GP’s to his name, I would hardly call him an ‘expert’. It is a pity that the younger viewers and people new to F1, watching NBC will be in awe and look up to an elder person who they believe is a past ‘hero of F1, when in fact its a figment of his imagination….

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