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NBC Sports Group gets US Formula One rights

NBC Sports Group has signed a four-year deal with Formula One for the exclusive U.S. media rights to the world's most popular global motorsports series.

The deal that begins next season will air four races on NBC. The remaining 16 races, and all practices and qualifying sessions will be on cable NBC Sports Network in what's expected to total more than 100 hours of annual programming.

All 20 races will be live streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra, the NBC Sports Group’s live-stream platform that is available online at NBCSports.com as well as on mobile and tablet apps.

“We are thrilled to add the top international open-wheel racing series to our already-strong motorsports portfolio,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network. “Formula 1 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 Grand Prix schedule includes 20 races in 19 countries from March through November, including the Austin, Texas, race on Sunday, Nov. 17 on NBC. The 2013 season begins on Sunday, March 17 in Australia on NBC Sports Network and concludes on Sunday, Nov. 24 in Brazil on NBC. NBC’s first race will be the Grand Prix of Canada, which will be broadcast on Sunday, June 9. The famed Grand Prix of Monaco is scheduled for Sunday, May 26, on NBC Sports Network.

“NBC and its various media assets have a huge profile throughout the United States, and I am obviously delighted to have concluded this agreement. I feel that they will promote Formula One to a level not seen before in the United States,” said Bernie Ecclestone, Formula One Group CEO. “I very much look forward to working with NBC. Together, we will endeavor to broaden the scope of Formula One coverage available to U.S. viewers incorporating additional digital content in particular that has not been available before.”

Cable network Speed had been the U.S. rights holder to F1 for the last 17 years, but told The Associated Press on Friday it had been outbid by another network.