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NBC in box seat as IndyCar nears rights reveal

The NBC Sports division of US media company NBCUniversal is seemingly poised to become the sole broadcast partner of IndyCar as the motor-racing series closes in on a new rights deal.

NBC currently shares domestic rights to IndyCar with the ABC network, but speculation has mounted over the destination of the next set of rights following a tweet from a meteorologist at an ABC affiliate in Georgia.

The tweet, which has since been removed, stated that 2018 would be the network’s last year broadcasting IndyCar races, including the iconic Indy 500.

Questioned on the tweet, Mark Miles, president of IndyCar’s parent entity Hulman & Company, told the Racer.com website: “It's a little premature. But we hope to have something to announce before long.”

Miles had earlier told the AutoWeek website that the rights package would be heading to either NBC or ABC, adding: “There will be a very meaningful increase in our over-the-air broadcast package. It will really be good for the future of the sport.”

ABC is currently in the final year of a six-year renewal for IndyCar rights, while NBC Sports is in the 10th and final year of its contract. This dates back to the Versus cable network, which was rebranded as NBC Sports Network in January 2012.