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Seen on Screen: NBC Sports Joins Virtual Racing Circuit With IndyCar, Short Track iRacing Challenge; SEC Network's Marty & McGee To Return April 4

03/04/2020

Seen on Screen: NBC Sports Joins Virtual Racing Circuit With IndyCar, Short Track iRacing Challenge; SEC Network's Marty & McGee To Return April 4 By Kristian Hernandez, Associate Editor

Friday, April 3, 2020 - 9:00 am

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Seen on Screen provides a roundup of the current sports programming landscape as networks deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. In this week's edition, major networks like NBC Sports, Fox Sports, and ESPN are combating the silence of no live sports with previously-released, taped, or archival content. Many networks have also continued producing live studio content - often with on-air talent located remotely.

NBC Sports presents the INDYCAR iRacing Challenge, a live, virtual racing event featuring a field of NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers, this Saturday with the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at the virtual Barber Motorsports Park live at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. The event will mark the inaugural INDYCAR iRacing event to appear on NBCSN.

More than two dozen INDYCAR drivers are expected to compete in this weekend's INDYCAR iRacing Challenge, including five-time series champion Scott Dixon, two-time and reigning series champion Josef Newgarden, and 2019 Indianapolis 500 winner Simon Pagenaud. Last Saturday, 2013 Indy Lights champion Sage Karam won the inaugural INDYCAR iRacing Challenge American Red Cross Grand Prix at the virtual Watkins Glen International.

NBC Sports' lead INDYCAR broadcast team of Leigh Diffey (play-by-play), Paul Tracy (analyst), and Townsend Bell (analyst) will call the action

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, and Denny Hamlin headline a group of 18 drivers that will compete at virtual versions of iconic and short tracks across America next week on NBCSN, as NASCAR America presents the NBC eSports Short Track iRacing Challengebeginning Monday, April 6, at 7 p.m. ET.

From Monday-Wednesday, six different drivers will compete in two timed races in Cup Series cars at an iconic track at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN. The top two finishers from each night will advance to the championship race at the virtual Martinsville Speedway on Thursday night on NBCSN.

Monday - Rockingham Speedway

Tuesday - Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis

Wednesday - Myrtle Beach Speedway

Thursday - Martinsville Speedway (Championship Race)

The following drivers will compete in the NBC eSports Short Track iRacing Challenge:

Monday at Rockingham Speedway - Kyle Busch, William Byron, Austin Dillon, Parker Kligerman, Tyler Reddick, and Bubba Wallace

Tuesday at Lucas Oil Raceway - Justin Allgaier, Christopher Bell, Chase Briscoe, Harrison Burton, Denny Hamlin, and Kyle Larson

Wednesday at Myrtle Beach Speedway - Landon Cassill, Matt DiBenedetto, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Timmy Hill, Ryan Preece, and Myatt Snider

NBC Sports NASCAR commentators Rick Allen and Steve Letartewill call the action, including interviews with drivers during the races. Jeff BurtonandMarty Snider will host the NBC eSports Short Track iRacing Challenge via Zoom

After a three-week hiatus, Marty & McGee will return to its weekly Saturday morning schedule on SEC Network with an audio-only format, beginning Saturday, April 4, at 7 a.m. ET. The show, which will now extend to three hours from 7-10 a.m., continued in the interim with its weekly ESPN Radio presence, and now becomes the second SEC Network programming offering to return to live TV with a new format.

SEC Network's televised format of the show will feature a slate, showcasing the live audio from the ESPN Radio broadcast of the show. This format is also being utilized for The Paul Finebaum Show, which returned to TV this week.

SEC Network has also introduced a robust lineup of social and digital programming for SEC fans who are looking for current conversation surrounding the world of sports, including SEC For Now, No Offseason with Laura Rutledge, and SEC Game Night. Daily content is premiering on SEC Network's Twitter and Facebook accounts, as well as SECNetwork.com

NESN is leveraging social media for their broadcast presentations of archival content. For encore showings of past playoff runs from both the Boston Bruins and Boston Red Sox, the regional sports network will be hosting Twitter Takeovers, where tweets will be shown in the lower third of viewers' television screens. For example, former Bruins player Chris Kelly will be with NESN on Saturday to answer fan questions during a showing of Game 4 of the 2011 Eastern Conference Semifinals, a game that clinched the series against the Philadelphia Flyers

CBS Sports will feature the final rounds of the 2004 and 2019 Masters Tournaments on Saturday, April 11 and Sunday, April 12. These two classic tournaments featured historic victories from two of golf's biggest names, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods.

CBS Sports' broadcast coverage will also be available to stream live on the CBS All Access subscription service, with additional content throughout the week and weekend on the CBS Sports HQ streaming sports news network, CBSSports.com, and The First Cut podcast, as well as on CBS Sports social handles.

Masters.com and @TheMasters social media will feature complementary archival and never-before-seen content from the iconic final rounds. Fans are encouraged to follow along and share their viewing experience using #MastersRewind.

The schedule will be

Saturday, April 11

THE MASTERS: 1975 (1:30-2:30 PM, ET)

FINAL ROUND - 2004 MASTERS TOURNAMENT (2:30-6:00 PM, ET)

Sunday, April 12

FINAL ROUND - 2019 MASTERS TOURNAMENT (12:30-6:00 PM, ET)

The Masters content continues on ESPN, where the network will salute the Masters Tournament with encore presentations of the final rounds of two of Tiger Woods' five wins, Jack Nicklaus' stunning victory in 1986 and other classic editions of the iconic e
LINK: https://www.sportsvideo.org/2020/04/03/seen-on-screen-nbc-sports-joins...
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