As rumoured, NBC will be broadcasting America's coverage of the F1 world championship from 2013, replacing long-time favourite Speed, which bows out after 17 years.

The broadcasting giant has signed an exclusive four-year deal with F1's powers-that-be, having outbid its rivals to secure the rights, but revealed that only four races will be screened live on NBC itself, with the remaining 16 events - as well as every practice and qualifying session - appearing the cable channel NBC Sports Network. Al 20 races will be streamed live on the Sports Live Extra platform available online at NBCSports.com.

"We are thrilled to add the top international open-wheel racing series to our already-strong motorsports portfolio," president of programming Jon Miller insisted, "F1 is a perfect fit for the NBC Sports Group as it provides content across three platforms -- broadcast, cable and digital -- for nine months a year with more than 100 hours of premier programming annually."

The 2013 F1 schedule is due to include two American rounds, at Austin in November and, should the project come to fruition, on the shores of the River Hudson in New York in June, where it will form a double-header with the Canadian Grand Prix.
"NBC and its various media assets have a huge profile throughout the United States, and I am obviously delighted to have concluded this agreement," F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone commented, "I feel that they will promote F1 to a level not seen before in the United States. I very much look forward to working with NBC,/i> and, together, we will endeavour to broaden the scope of F1 coverage available to US viewers, incorporating additional digital content in particular that has not been available before."

No on-air talent has been announced by the broadcaster, although a great many fans have called for the existing Speed team of Bob Varsha, David Hobbs and Will Buxton to be hired wholesale....

NBC also made a less than auspicious start to its relationship with F1, mixing up double world champion Sebastian Vettel with Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber in the caption for a picture accompanying the announcement on its website!

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