IMSA, NBC Sports Group Announce Six-Year Partnership To Begin In 2019
Monday, April 30, 2018

The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) will have a new U.S. broadcast home for its flagship IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, what is currently known as the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda as NBC Sports Group and IMSA today announced a six-year partnership starting with the 2019 season. 

This enhanced media rights partnership includes a significant increase in network coverage of the WeatherTech Championship over 2018. Three races will broadcast on NBC and there will be more than 45 hours of WeatherTech Championship action televised on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) throughout the season. NBC Sports will present more than 100 hours of IMSA coverage across its broadcast, cable, and digital platforms. The NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com will offer flag-to-flag live streaming coverage of every WeatherTech Championship race to authenticated subscribers.

“The resonance and gravity of this new partnership with NBC Sports Group for IMSA fans and our stakeholders cannot be overstated,” said IMSA CEO Ed Bennett. “This agreement is the culmination of a comprehensive process to align ourselves with a media rights partner that will capitalize on the tremendous momentum IMSA and the WeatherTech Championship are enjoying and will help our sport reach new heights. Without question, NBC Sports Group ‘gets’ motorsports and our unique premium product. We could not be prouder to call NBC Sports our future partner.

“We have enjoyed a long and rewarding partnership with FOX and they have helped grow our sport over the years,” Bennett added. “FOX has been an outstanding partner and been instrumental in elevating the status of IMSA and its Championships. We want to send our deepest appreciation to them for their unwavering support.”

“As the U.S. home of motorsports, we are excited to present IMSA’s high-quality and diverse racing circuit to our abundance of racing fans,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports and NBCSN. “By utilizing our wide-array of broadcast, cable, and digital platforms, we can service IMSA and motorsports fans with more coverage and in more ways than ever before.”

This media rights agreement with NBC Sports Group capitalizes on IMSA’s unprecedented growth and its bright future including the sanctioning body celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2019. This season started with a great deal of anticipation and it has lived up to these lofty expectations. The year began with some of the most famous names in motorsports joining the WeatherTech Championship. Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya headlined the return of Acura Team Penske to IMSA competition. Two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso made his Rolex 24 At Daytona debut with United Autosports to rave reviews.

Among the highlights of this growth include record attendance at each race this year, unique television viewership for the year is on track to surpass last year’s record of 6.5 million viewers, and significant digital and social media growth which include a 40 percent increase in the number of total visitors to its website – IMSA.com – and a 25 percent increase in followers across its social channels. There has also been a 50 percent increase in hours of live race coverage streamed by fans, and a 14 percent increase in combined video views over previous years. 

NBC Sports Group is the home of motorsports in the U.S., with this agreement adding to its extensive portfolio of auto racing that includes NASCAR and INDYCAR. 

The 2019 season begins with the 57th Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 26-27, 2019 and the entire season broadcast schedule will be announced in the coming months.

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