The Indianapolis 500 in a typical year is the finale of what's commonly referred to as the Month of May in IndyCar racing. The catch phrase for the 2020 Indy 500 should be "better late than never."
The TV channel for the Indy 500 is among the few aspects of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing that have not changed after IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway were forced to reschedule the race amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Now in Year 2 of its deal to broadcast IndyCar races in the United States, NBC will show Sunday's 104th running of the Indy 500.
The start time for the 2020 Indy 500 is listed as 1 p.m. ET, but the race won't take the green flag until 2:30 p.m. ET. More than any other event in motorsports, the Indy 500 features a stuffed lineup of pre-race ceremonies, all of which can be seen on NBC during the network's pre-race show.
Marco Andretti qualified on the pole for the 2020 Indy 500, marking the first time an Andretti has started this race up front since his grandfather Mario did so 33 years ago.
Below is all you need to know about how to watch the 104th running of the Indy 500, including the TV channel and live stream options.
What channel is the Indy 500 on today?
- Race: 104th Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
- Date: Sunday, Aug. 23
- Start time: 1 p.m. ET (2:30 p.m. ET green flag)
- TV channel: NBC
- Live stream: NBC Sports Gold | fuboTV
NBC Sports is the exclusive home for the IndyCar Series in the United States for the second consecutive year, meaning the 2020 Indy 500 will be shown on broadcast cable network NBC. The Indy 500 had been shown on ABC for 54 consecutive years before NBC obtained the exclusive series rights with a three-year deal in 2019.
Below are the top 40 TV markets in the Unites States and the local NBC affiliate for each.
|Market||NBC TV channel (digital)|
|New York||4 (36)|
|Los Angeles||4 (36)|
|Dallas-Ft. Worth||5 (24)|
|San Francisco/Bay area||11 (12)|
|Washington D.C.||4 (48)|
|Tampa/St. Petersburg||8 (7)|
|Minneapolis-St. Paul||11 (11)|
|St. Louis||5 (35)|
|San Diego||39 (40)|
|Salt Lake City||5 (38)|
|San Antonio||3 (16)|
|Kansas City||41 (36)|
|Las Vegas||3 (22)|
|Oklahoma City||4 (27)|
|New Orleans||6 (43)|
NBC Sports’ lead IndyCar broadcast team of Leigh Diffey (play-by-play), Townsend Bell (analyst) and Paul Tracy (analyst) will call the 104th annual Indy 500.
Mike Tirico will lead NBC's pre-race coverage from Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and for the second straight year, he'll get help from retired IndyCar driver Danica Patrick.
“My first Indy 500 last year exceeded my very high expectations in every way,” Tirico said in a release. “Although this year’s race will take place under unprecedented circumstances, I can’t wait to get back to Indy. I’m confident that our team at the Brickyard will provide viewers with as exciting a viewing experience as possible.
"I am also thrilled that Danica Patrick is along for the ride again this year. We had such a great time last May and look forward to bringing Indy home for the viewers again.”
NBC will show all of the famous Indy 500 pre-race festivities starting at 1 p.m. ET before the green flag drops shortly after 2:30 p.m. ET.
Indianapolis 500 schedule 2020
The complete schedule for the Indy 500 technically includes seven practice sessions and two days of qualifying, all of which were completed before Sunday's main event.
The first six practice sessions took place from Wednesday, Aug. 12 through Sunday, Aug. 16. Baked into that schedule were qualifications on Aug. 15-16. The final practice session before the Indy 500, also known as Carb Day, took place Friday, Aug. 23.
Which sets up a long morning and early afternoon of waiting on Sunday, Aug. 23 before the 104th Indianapolis 500 takes the green flag at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Below is the complete schedule for race day.
|7 a.m. ET||IMS garage opens||-|
|8 a.m. ET||Teams to pits||-|
|10:45 a.m. ET||Pre-race inspection||-|
|12:40 p.m. ET||Cars pushed to grid||-|
|1 p.m. ET||Pre-race ceremonies begin||NBC|
|1:47 p.m. ET||Driver introductions||NBC|
|2:06 p.m. ET||Grid formation||NBC|
|2:09 p.m. ET||Invocation and national anthem||NBC|
|2:23 p.m. ET||Command to start engines||NBC|
|2:30 p.m. ET||Green flag for Indy 500 (200 laps)||NBC|
|5:30 p.m. ET (est.)||Checkered flag||NBC|
How to watch the Indy 500 live online
All IndyCar races in 2020 including the Indy 500 can be streamed live via phones, tablets and other devices on NBCSports.com and on the NBC Sports app with authentication. This should be the preferred method for those who do have a cable or satellite subscription but are not in front of a TV.
All 2020 IndyCar races and practice/qualifying sessions also can be streamed live on NBC Sports Gold's IndyCar Pass for $54.99 a year.
For those who don't have a cable or satellite subscription, there are five major OTT TV streaming options that carry NBC — Sling, Hulu, YouTubeTV, fuboTV and AT&T Now. Of the five, Hulu, YouTubeTV and fuboTV offer free trial options.
Below are links to each.
Indy 500 radio broadcasts
There are four ways to listen to national radio coverage of the 2020 Indy 500. All stations will begin race coverage at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday.
San Antonio 3 (16)
Here are the options:
- Pennzoil IndyCar Radio Network
- Sirius channel 211
- XM channel 205
- Internet channel 205
The local audience in Indianapolis will have four additional options to listen to the race on radio stations — 93.5 FM, 107.5 FM, 93.1 FM and 1070 AM. Both 93.5 and 107.5 will carry pre-race coverage (starting at 8 a.m. ET) and post-race coverage (ending at 9 p.m. ET).