CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — NBC Sports Group has acquired the media rights to IndyCar beginning next season in a three-year deal that moves the Indianapolis 500 to a new network for the first time since 1965.

IndyCar most recently had been split between ABC and NBC Sports, and only ABC was permitted to air races on broadcast television. NBC was relegated to cable.

Under the new contract, eight IndyCar races will be on broadcast next season, up from five that ABC will air this year. The rest of the schedule will be on NBC Sports Network.

The deal also puts IndyCar in the NBC Gold package, which is a direct-to-consumer product in which subscribers can purchase additional content that is not televised.

The big prize of the package is the Indianapolis 500. ABC had a stranglehold on it and NBC wanted the crown jewel for its "Championship Season" campaign.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

See Also: