Memorial Day Weekend is a time millions of Americans flock to beaches, parks, and barbeques to unofficially kick off the summer season. But if you come from Indiana, you know there is no better place to be than Speedway City, home of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” – the Indy 500.
The prize event of the Indy Car Series features 33 of the fastest cars and best drivers on the 2.5-mile long track known as “The Brickyard”. It is one-third of the Triple Crown of Racing, along with the Monaco Grand Prix and the 24 Hours at Le Mans events.
An estimated 300,000 people will attend the race which, as part of the litany of rich Indy 500 traditions, will kick off after the singing of “Back Home Again in Indiana” and end with the victorious driver swigging gulps of milk in Victory Lane.
Millions more will take in the event on television and be joined by the growing legions of live stream audiences around the world. Read on to see how you can join the fun from wherever you are.
NBC Sports named official broadcaster
In the early years of television, Indy 500 officials were hesitant to broadcast the race because they feared it would hurt their gate. In 1965, ABC’s Wide World of Sports started showing abbreviated versions on their classic weekend sports show.
It wasn’t until the mid-1990’s that ABC Sports was granted permission to show the race live in its entirety. But after 53 years, ABC’s affiliation with Indy Car Racing has come to an end.
NBC Sports now owns the rights to the whole circuitand will televise seven races, including this year’s classic Indy 500, on all NBC network affiliates. Most cable and satellite customers can follow the event without paying for any special packages.
Indy 500 Live Streaming options
The Indy 500 will also be live streamed at NBCSports.com and over the NBC Sports app, along with every other race in the 2019 Indy Car Racing schedule.
NBC Gold Sports, a subscription-only product, will offer 50 hours of live pre-Indy 500 coverage, including practice runs and qualifying heats, and the Carb Day festivities.
Canadian fans who cannot stream NBC Sports can contact DAZN, expected to win the Canadian rights to the Indy Car Series. DAZN will also stream the race to parts of Europe.
BT Sports, part of British Telecommunications, retains the broadcast and streaming rights in England.
Cable-free options to watch the Indy 500 on NBC
Almost every live stream, internet television provider includes NBC in the majority of their channel packages.
That includes DirecTV Now, who streams NBC affiliates in every package they offer. With DirecTV Now’s “Todo y Mas” package, race fans can watch the Indy 500 with a Spanish language commentary.
Sling TV includes NBC in their Blue and Orange & Blue channel packages. Just a reminder: if you want to record the Indy 500, you need to pay a premium for DVR capability.
That is not the case with PlayStation Vue. Sony’s streaming television service lists NBC in all packages and includes some DVR capability in the basic pricing.
Fubo TV also includes NBC in both channel package options, and YouTube TV saw fit to make NBC part of their group of offerings.
The best part about YouTube TV, Fubo TV, Sling, PS Vue, and DirecTV Now is that they each offer a one-week no obligation trial period to new customers. Non-subscribers can take advantage of that deal to watch the live stream, Indy 500 race for free from their computer or most hand-held devices.
Using a VPN to watch from anywhere
Indy 500 fans who are traveling or stuck in a place with no NBC Sports coverage can use a VPN to virtually move their computer to somewhere that does.
Quality VPN services let your computer connect with servers around the world or the USA. When NBC Sports or the NBC Sports app is contacted by you, it believes you are located near the VPN’s server and will open their access to you.
Be sure to use a reputable service that can safeguard your identity and prevent viruses from sneaking into your device.
ExpressVPN and Nord VPN are leading services with servers in dozens of countries and across the United States. They use military-grade encryption products and offer excellent connection speeds to assure your signal is strong enough for live sports.
IPVanish is another virtual network provider with excellent speeds and encryption. Where they are lacking is in 24/7 live customer service, which Nord and ExpressVPN offer. If you are confident in your ability to manage a VPN, IPVanish’s lower price might be attractive.
The flag will drop on the 2019 Indy 500 race at 12:19 pm eastern time on Sunday, May 26. The field will race around the Brickyard 200 times to see who gets to enjoy a bottle of milk, along with the joy and adulation that comes with winning America’s most prestigious car race.