Verizon IndyCar Series releases its 2017 television schedule

When and where will your favorite IndyCar race be on TV? The 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series TV schedule is here; see the season’s complete broadcast plan.

Fans of the Verizon IndyCar Series can start circling their calendars and programming their DVRs now, as IndyCar released its 2017 TV schedule on Wednesday.

NBCSN returns as IndyCar’s primary broadcast partner, carrying 12 of this year’s 17 races. ABC will retain the TV rights to the other five: the season opener in St. Petersburg, both parts of the Dual in Detroit doubleheader, the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and both qualifying for and the running of the 101st Indianapolis 500.

This means that all 16 of the events that were on the schedule in 2016 will be shown on the same networks in 2017. The year’s only new race, the Gateway Indy 250 from Gateway Motorsports Park in St. Louis, will be shown on NBCSN.

IndyCar’s press release on Wednesday touted a 55 percent growth in its television audience from 2013 to 2016. However, the 2016 schedule was also fraught with a few speed bumps, as weather delays and NBCSN also being the cable home of NASCAR occasionally forced the open-wheel series to run on CNBC — hardly the place a TV viewer would look for a motorsports event.

In 2017, there are just two dates on the calendar where NBCSN will carry both IndyCar and NASCAR. On Sep. 3, IndyCar’s Grand Prix at the Glen will air from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET before NASCAR’s Bojangles Southern 500 runs at 6 p.m. ET.

Then on Sep. 17, the IndyCar season-ending Grand Prix of Sonoma starts at 6:30 p.m. ET, which is after the first NASCAR Chase for the Cup round airs from Chicagoland Speedway at 3 p.m. ET. If the Chicagoland 400 runs long there would be conflict, but on paper the network seems to have built in at least a little buffer space.

Wednesday’s announcement didn’t include broadcast plans for additional coverage, such as broadcasts of practice and qualifying sessions, or if NBCSN will continue with its documentary series IndyCar Chronicles. That information is listed as coming at a later date.

Yet at least fans will have consistency in which network is airing what race, which is the most important takeaway. If fans can’t find the race, they can’t support the race, and as the TV audience builds perhaps some of those viewers will be persuaded to get out from behind their remotes and attend an event in person this season.

Below is the complete 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series TV schedule, listed by date, race, broadcasting network and start time:

Mar. 12 – Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg – ABC – 12 p.m. ET
Apr. 9 – Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach – NBCSN – 4 p.m. ET
Apr. 23 – Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama – NBCSN – 3 p.m. ET
Apr. 29 – Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix – NBCSN  9 p.m. ET
May 13 – Grand Prix of Indianapolis – ABC – 3:30 p.m. ET
May 20 – 101st Indianapolis 500 Qualifying Day 1 – ABC – 4 p.m. ET
May 21 – 101st Indianapolis 500 Qualifying Day 2 – ABC – 4 p.m. ET
May 28 – 101st Indianapolis 500 – ABC – 11 a.m. ET
June 3 – Dual in Detroit Race 1 – ABC –  3:30 p.m. ET
June 4 – Dual in Detroit Race 2 – ABC –  3:30 p.m. ET
June 10 – Rainguard Water Sealer 600 – NBCSN – 8 p.m. ET
June 25 – Kohler Grand Prix – NBCSN – 12:30 p.m. ET
July 9 – Iowa Corn 300 – NBCSN –  5 p.m. ET
July 16 – Honda Indy Toronto – NBCSN – 3 p.m. ET
July 30 – Honda Indy 200 – NBCSN – 3 p.m. ET
Aug. 20 – ABC Supply 500 – NBCSN – 2 p.m. ET
Aug. 26 – Gateway Indy 250 – NBCSN – 9 p.m. ET
Sep. 3 – Grand Prix at the Glen – NBCSN – 1 p.m. ET
Sep. 17 – GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma – NBCSN – 6:30 p.m. ET

IndyCar having a consistent TV schedule is great news for fans, provided that it doesn’t butt heads with the two aforementioned NASCAR dates. Will IndyCar be able to continues posting gains in TV viewers as a result? Here’s hoping.

The 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season begins March 12.

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