NBC F1 announcers, producer revel in Monaco GP history, storylines

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Being in the right place at the right time couldn’t have been more appropriate when NBC Sports Group announcers Leigh Diffey and David Hobbs took part in a Wednesday morning teleconference from Monaco.

Let’s let Diffey, who will handle play-by-play duties on Sunday’s telecast, tell the story of a very busy Wednesday morning in preparation for Sunday’s Formula One Monaco Grand Prix:

“(There’s been an) amazing buzz here today. We’ve been waiting for it for a very long time. The now two-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton has finally signed a contract to stay at Mercedes Benz AMG. He’s done a three-year deal in excess of $100 million. Literally, the call just came from the drivers press conference.

“Lewis, in kind of Hollywood style, walked in with a big gold necklace and gold sunglasses. I guess (he) looked like somebody who signed a more than $100 million contract. It was so fitting to have that announcement here in the place where he lives, just the pizazz that surrounds Lewis Hamilton now. That’s one of the many story lines we’ll be bringing you this weekend.

“Obviously the overwhelming one is his rivalry with his teammate Nico Rosberg who happens to live in the same building as he does here in Monaco. Of course, Nico has his own story going with three wins. Without going on too long, there’s a lot of excitement that’s so fitting for it all to be happening here in Monaco.”

This is the third year that NBC will televise the Monaco Grand Prix live. Viewership of NBC Sports Group’s coverage of F1 is up nearly 10 percent thus far this season.

NBC Sports Group motorsports producer Rich O’Connor spoke about how special both televising the event – as well as its unique location – has been for both the network and himself.

“I’ve been involved with various forms of motorsports for over 15 years now,” O’Connor said. “(I) have worked the Daytona 500, the Indianapolis 500. This is my third Monaco Grand Prix.

“I remember walking away from the first one we did a couple of years ago. It’s just one of those events that truly lives up to all the hype that goes into it. It’s an amazing scene over here.

“It goes on for four plus days. It’s just an incredible event. We’re pleased to be a part of it. What we try and do is we try and give as much sense of place to the telecast, tell the story of the race, because it truly is a very special event.

“When you walk around the streets here, walk a lap, it’s pretty incredible what this sport has done on the streets of this small city for a very long time.  The history goes on and we’re proud to be a part of it.”

Sunday is the biggest day in racing in the world each year. It starts with the Grand Prix, then the Indianapolis 500 and ends with NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600.

NBC Sports Group F1 Analyst and David Hobbs truly particularly appreciates the history of the Grand Prix.

“Obviously the racing itself here is quite extraordinary,” Hobbs said. “This track was first raced on in 1929, then after the war in 1950 when the modern day Grand Prix started, they started here, and they’ve had one ever since.

“The track is pretty much (the) identical layout to what it was back in 1929. They modified it a bit 20 years ago to go around the new swimming pool. But other than that it’s exactly the same.”

This race also brings out not just the average F1 fan, but the well-heeled as well.

“I went to a luncheon at the new yacht club today,” Hobbs said. “British Racing Drivers Club had a luncheon there. As I walked back, there’s a row of boats, every one of which must be worth at least $50 million. Just seeing the supplies delivered to those boats for the weekend is quite extraordinary.

“Boxes and boxes of Moet Chandon champagne, all the best drink in the world you can buy. This is one of the few tracks, all these people, they can sit on their boat. And if they’re on the tail end of their boat, they are literally 30 feet from the track, one of the fastest parts of the track. … The big question on everyone’s lips is can Nico Rosberg be one of the drivers to win this race three times in a row.”

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Peacock to stream all Supercross and Motocross races in 2023, plus inaugural SuperMotocross Championship

Peacock Supercross Motocross 2023
Feld Entertainment, Inc.

NBC Sports and Feld Motor Sports announced that Peacock and the NBC family of networks will stream all 31 races of the combined Monster Energy Supercross, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross and the newly created SuperMotocross World Championship beginning January 7, 2023 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California and ending October 14 in the place where Supercross was born: the Los Angeles Coliseum.

The combined series will create a 10-month calendar of events, making it one of the longest professional sports’ seasons in the United States.

The agreement is for multiple years. The season finale will air live on Peacock and the USA Network.

Peacock will present live coverage of all races, qualifying and heats across both series. The 31 total races will mark a record for the combined number of Supercross and Pro Motocross events that NBC Sports will present in a single season.

NBC, USA Network and CNBC will provide coverage of all races, including the SuperMotocross World Championship Playoffs and Final, through 2023 and beyond. For more information about the Peacock streaming service, click here.

“With our wide array of live and original motorsports offerings, Peacock is a natural home for Supercross and Pro Motocross races,” said Rick Cordella, Chief Commercial Officer, Peacock. “We’re looking forward to providing fans with an easily-accessible destination to find every race all season long, including the exciting finish with the newly formed SuperMotocross World Championship.”

MORE: A conversation about media rights created the new SuperMotocross World Championship Series

The NBC family of networks has been home to Supercross for the past several seasons and this is a continuation of that relationship. The media rights for both series expired at the end of 2022, which allowed Supercross and Motocross to combine their efforts.

In fact, it was that conversation that led to the formation of the SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX).

The SMX series will begin on September 9, 2023 after the conclusion of the Pro Motocross season. Points will accumulate from both series to seed the SMX championship, which creates a record number of unified races.

“The SuperMotocross World Championship adds a new dimension to the annual Supercross and Pro Motocross seasons that will result in crowning the ultimate World Champion,” said Stephen C. Yaros, SVP Global Media and Supercross for Feld Motor Sports. “We are thrilled to be extending our relationship with NBC Sports so our fans can watch all the racing action streaming live on Peacock and the option to also watch select rounds on NBC, USA Network and CNBC.”

Complete 2023 coverage schedules for Supercross, Pro Motocross and the SuperMotocross World Championship on Peacock, NBC, USA Network and CNBC will be announced in the near future.