NBC Kicks Off ‘Biggest Day in Motorsports’ With Monaco Grand Prix
The glamour and prestige of the Monaco Grand Prix will descend on the streets of the world’s second-smallest nation on Sunday, and NBC Sports Group will once again be on hand in full force to put the Peacock stamp on Formula 1’s grandest race. In all, NBC and NBCSN will present more than 35 hours of motorsports coverage this week, culminating with the “Biggest Day in Motorsports” on Sunday.
“This Sunday is perhaps the greatest day of racing in the world because it starts with Monaco, then the Indianapolis 500 takes place over in Indianapolis, then that night it’s the [Coca-Cola 600] in Charlotte, [NC],” says NBC Motorsports Producer Rich O’Connor, who is working his third Monaco Grand Prix. “I hope racing fans see what’s different and see the history that separates Monaco and what it is. I also hope some of the casual sports fans see immediately that this is certainly a different type of event when you’re racing through city streets like this.”
Monaco is one of three F1 races each year for which NBC sends a full production crew and two-camera studio set to cover the race onsite; Montreal’s Grand Prix du Canada and the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, TX, are the other two. Euro Media Group is providing remote-production facilities for NBC in Monte Carlo.
“We’ve got an incredible set location, which is on top of the harbor and looks back at the city,” says O’Connor. “It gives a great sense of place. That’s really what we do to enhance the coverage here: just be a part of the sense of place.”
Play-by-play voice Leigh Diffey, analysts David Hobbs and Steve Matchett, and F1 insider and pit reporter Will Buxton will call the action onsite in Monte Carlo. For the majority of F1 races, NBC deploys Buxton solely with a dedicated camera and producer onsite.
Whereas Formula One Management (FOM) produces the world feed for the other 18 Grand Prix races, the Automobile Club of Monaco handles the Monaco Grand Prix world feed. However, FOM does handle the on-car cameras, TV graphics, and shots of the grandstands.
“The benefit we have with F1 is that FOM does provide one of the best host feeds that I’ve ever been around in sports broadcasting,” says O’Connor. “They really know how to tell the story of the race. We’re very reliant on that, and we do benefit from that quite a bit. They do not allow unilateral cameras on course. We rarely, if ever, have felt that we’re not getting the story of the race through them. They do a great job with all their resources, their onboard cameras, and their beauty shots.”
NBC’s live presentation of the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix begins at 7:30 a.m. ET on Sunday.