USA Network will become the home of IMSA TV coverage when not on network NBC, as part of a shakeup amid the end-of-year demise of NBCSN.
Confirmed by IMSA President John Doonan during last weekend’s ‘State of the Sport’ address at Road America, the NBCUniversial-owned cable channel will largely take over from NBCSN for coverage of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and IMSA’s other sanctioned series.
“Our relationship with NBC is long-term and strong and we will continue to be on NBC network several times throughout the season,” said Doonan.
“There’s still a lot of questions about NBCSN. That is going away as a platform but we’re pleased to let everybody know that the USA network will be the home when we can’t be on NBC network.
“This is big for us. While it’s not a sports channel, it instantly increases our viewership 6-7 percent. You’re looking at 80 million homes with the USA network.”
The change comes after a record year for IMSA on NBC Sports, which has seen 3.9 million unique TV viewers since the start of the season across its platforms.
Trackpass on NBC Sports Gold — IMSA’s current over-the-top media service — is understood to evolve to coverage on NBC’s streaming service Peacock, which already includes NTT IndyCar Series content.
Doonan explained to Sportscar365 that USA Network will provide a “new audience” while creating “more awareness” of IMSA racing moving forward, leveraged with Peacock.
“Our audience, being who they are and their demographic, it’s clear they watch linear TV,” he said. “But they also take our content in a digital format. We need to be prepared for that.
“You’re going to be able to watch it on network NBC, USA and we’ll see how we leverage the Peacock platform.
“It’s still all under discussion thanks to our big partnership with NASCAR and being part of the family.”
While a full TV schedule has yet to be released, IMSA confirmed that both the start and finish of January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona will be broadcast live on network NBC.