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The New Racing Season – Updated Guide to Television Watching in 2019

The New Racing Season – Updated Guide to Television Watching in 2019

This weekend the racing season is getting more underway with the running of the first IndyCar race of the season at St. Peterburg. The weekend after we will see a ‘double-header’ of sorts at Sebring with a 1000-mile WEC race on Friday and the traditional IMSA-sanctioned 12-hour race on Saturday. In addition, that weekend will see the first Formula One Grand Prix of the season at Melbourne, Australia.

We have been waiting for confirmation of the broadcast plans for the various series to be confirmed and it looks like all the pieces are in place now.

Of course, I recommend that you check our my ‘George’s TV Listings’ each week on this website to be sure you don’t miss any of the race broadcasts.

The ground has shifted overt the past several years with more and more of the race broadcasts migrating to somewhat obscure channels (i.e. channels that your television service provider may not include in your channel lineup – or at significantly extra cost) or onto internet streaming sources such SN NOW+ (snnow.ca) or Motor Trend On Demand (motortrendondemand.com).

SN NOW+ is available online only to subscibers to this service at $28/month. Note SN NOW+ is different from SN NOW and that the Indycar press release specifically mentions SN NOW+); Motor Trend On Demand is a subscription service available in Canada (at $4.95 US per month but you can start and stop your subscription if you wish). Also, check out what’s available via YouTube (for example replays of IndyCar and IMSA race broadcasts).

So here’s an updated picture of what I now know about where you, as a Canadian resident, will be able to get broadcasts of the major race series this year.

IMSA WeatherTech: These races will be broadcast live on the Discovery-Velocity channel. In addition, a tape-delayed cut-down highlights show will be shown on TSN sometime later. The CTMP race as well as the final two races of the season will be on the NBC network channel which most of us get in our standard TV package. IMSA’s policy is to block the internet streaming broadcast on imsa.tv if that specific broadcast is available on broadcast TV; that is, don’t look for the WeatherTech series races on imsa.tv.

IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge: These races will be available live via internet streaming on imsa.tv (free of charge). The races from both IMSA series will show up on YouTube after a suitable delay.

World Endurance Championship
The WEC left FOX (and FSR) last year but it became available in Canada on Discovery-Velocity. That arrangement is continuing for the rest of the 2018-2019 season which ends as of the Le Mans 24-hour race. In addition, I expect the WEC races will be available live via the internet on Motortrendondemand.

Monster Energy NASCAR Series (MENCS) will be shown live on TSN with a few races available via US network channels (FOX or NBC). Check my listings to see which of the channels (TSN or FOX or NBC) the race broadcasts will be on. In addition, a few pre-race broadcasts, such as qualifying, may be on TSN.
NASCAR Xfinity series will be on TSN alongside the MENCS package.
NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series (formerly the Camping World Truck Series) will continue to be shown on the Fox Sports Racing channel which is available on many but not all TSPs in Canada.
In addition, FSR will carry some of the preliminary race weekend sessions for all three NASCAR series as well as the weekday NASCAR Race Hub shows in the early evening.

NTT IndyCar
As of March 6th, four days before their first race of the season, INDYCAR made its announcement about IndyCar broadcasts available to people who live outside the USA.

The first race, St. Petersburg, will be available in Canada only on SN NOW+ (internet direct). All the rest of the races will available on Sportsnet World and on SN NOW+. My cable company wants $16 a month to subscribe to Sportsnet World (less than the $28/month for SN NOW+). Eight of the races during the season (including the two races from Indianapolis) will be available in Canada on the NBC network channel. The Toronto Honda Indy will also be available on Sportsnet One (in addition to the other broadcast sources: Sportsnet World and SN NOW+)

Formula One
The first F1 race this year is at Melbourne in Australia on March 17. TSN is once again carrying the package of SKY Channel broadcasts as was the case last year.

NHRA Drag Racing.
In recent years all the NHRA drag racing, including the Mello Yello top series and a couple of junior series has been on Fox Sports Racing and that will continue again this year.

Australian Supercars, DTM, Blancpain (Europe), Pirelli World Challenge, Trans-Am and SCCA Runoffs
These series have been available, some on a same-day basis and some shown a few days or weeks after the fact, on the CBS Sports channel – and I expect that. I get this channel as part of my Cogeco package. I don’t know how widely available it is from other TSPs in Canada. Note that the feature series of races in the US-based Pirelli World Challenge (i.e. the GT3 races) will be running under the Blancpain GT World Challenge America title this year.

Monster Energy Cup Supercross
This off-road motorcycle series has been available live on the Fox Sport Racing channel in Canada but this year it seems to have migrated over to the NBCSN channel and, as such, will not be available to Canadian fans.

I have been including the international MotoGP broadcasts in my listings. These broadcasts will continue to be available (qualifying and MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3 races) on the beIN channel which is available at extra cost from my TSP and, I assume, from most of the other TSPs in Canada.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the auto/motorcycle broadcasts that may be available via television and/or streaming but that is the package that I review each week and try to include in my TV listings. If you have suggestions for other race series which I am ignoring unfairly, please let me know. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).



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