Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial start of summer in the US and while many people will be firing up their grills for the first time this year, racing fans will be eagerly awaiting the start of the Indianapolis 500. And the best news is that you can watch every minute of the racing action – no matter where in the world you are – thanks TechRadar’s guide to getting an Indy 500 live stream.
The race itself takes its name from the 500 miles of track that 33 Indy Cars will cover over the course of 200, 2.5 mile laps. The Indy 500 is one of the most famous auto races in the world and was first held in 1911. Since then the race has remained mostly unchanged and has been held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana.
103rd Indianapolis 500 – where and when?
This year’s Indy 500 will take place on Sunday, May 26 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana just as it does every year.
The race itself will begin at 12.30pm local time (9.30am PT, 5.30pm BST) and if you plan on watching the whole event prepare accordingly as the Indy 500 can last anywhere from three to five hours.
In a surprising turn of events during the qualifiers last Sunday, two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso failed to qualify for this year’s Indy 500. He had planned to complete the motorsport Triple Crown this year by adding an Indy 500 win to his Monaco Grand Prix and Le Mans victories. However, during Alonso’s final chance to qualify in the Last Row Shootout he was knocked out of the race by 23-year-old Kyle Kaiser.
Alonso may be out but the race must go on and Simon Pagenaud, Ed Carpenter and Spencer Pigot will start first in row 1 followed by ED Jones, Colton Herta and last year’s winner Will Power in row 2.
Whether you’re a die-hard fan of IndyCar racing or just want to tune into the 103rd Indianapolis 500 this Memorial Day, we’ll show you how to live stream the Indy 500 event online from anywhere in the world.
How to watch the 2019 Indy 500: live stream in the US
Racing fans in the US with a cable subscription can watch this year’s Indy 500 on NBC. This will be the first time since 1965 that the race will not be broadcast on ABC after the network lost the rights so you can bet that NBC will be going all out with its coverage of the Indy 500.
The network will begin broadcasting the event at 11am ET (8am PT, 4pm BST) though the race will start an hour and a half later at 12.30pm ET. You can also stream the Indy 500 via the NBC Sports live streaming website on desktop and mobile but you will have to enter your cable provider’s credentials to get access to this stream.
If you’d prefer to watch the Indy 500 without commercials along with every practice leading up to Sunday’s big event, you can do so by purchasing the NBC Sports Gold IndyCar Pass. Usually the annual pass costs $64.99 but NBC is offering a deal ahead of the Indy 500 where you can get it for just $39.99. In addition to additional coverage of the Indy 500, you also be able to watch every Indy Lights race this year with the ability to stream full races on-demand or watch a shortened 30-minute Fast Forward recap.
Get an Indy 500 live stream from outside your country
With plenty of US viewing options (As well as details on how to watch the Indianapolis 500 in Canada and the UK below, too), you shouldn’t have any trouble watching at home.
The problems begin if you’re away travelling outside the US this weekend. Try and tune into the NBC or any other domestic stream and you’ll soon discover a big fat geo-block in your way.
Annoying, but you can easily swerve around it with VPN. A Virtual Private Network allows you to change the IP address of your laptop, phone, tablet or – if you have one with you – TV streaming device. Set it to one back in your country (it’s surprisingly easy to do), and suddenly you’ll be able to watch an Indy 500 live stream as if you were sat back on your sofa.
We’ve tested loads and loads of VPN services and we’ve crowned ExpressVPN as the clear winner. It’s fast (so appropriate for this event), secure and utterly simple to use. Plus, it’s compatible with loads of devices like Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Xbox and PS4. ExpressVPN may be top of our podium, but there are other fantastic options out there as well making up our top three best VPN list:
1. ExpressVPN: the best all-round VPN for streaming, comes with 30-day money back guarantee to let you try before you buy AND 3 months free if you go for an annual subscription
2. NordVPN: SmartPlay tech makes NordVPN a great, affordable choice for streaming
3. IPVanish supports up to 10 devices, so great on the go
And if you’re thinking that getting a VPN to help watch one race is a bit much, there are loads of other benefits as well. Security is the main one, thanks to their encrypted tunnels and no-logging policies. A lot of people also use them to watch Netflix abroad.
How to live stream Indy 500 in the US without cable – and for FREE
If you don’t have a cable subscription, don’t worry as there are still plenty of other ways to watch the 2019 Indy 500 on NBC without subscribing or purchasing a digital antenna for your TV. To simplify things for you, we’ve listed all of the streaming services that will give you access to NBC below.
- Hulu with Live TV $44.99 per month – Hulu with Live TV doesn’t give you access to NBC in most markets though there are some where it is available. Unfortunately, you’ll have to check before signing up to see if NBC is offered in your area. The service also supports a wide variety of streaming devices and even includes its own Hulu Originals in case you want a break from watching sports.
- YouTube TV $49.99 per month – YouTube TV does give you access to NBC as well as ESPN, TNT and ABC in most markets. The service also includes free unlimited DVR storage space so you can record sporting events for later and you can stream the service on three devices simultaneously. A free 14-day trial is also available so you can test it out for yourself.
- Playstation Vue starting at $44.99 per month – Playstation Vue has four plans: Access, Core, Elite and Ultra but you’ll need to opt for the Core plan at $49.99 per month to watch sports. The service gives you access to NBC, ESPn, TNT and ABC in most markets. There is also a 5-day free trial available.
- DirecTV Now $50 per month – DirecTV Now doesn’t offer NBC in every market, so you’ll have to check before signing up but you do get access to ESPN, TNT and ABC in most markets. You can stream on up to three screens simultaneously and with the DirecTV Now app you can watch live TV on the go. New customers can take advantage of a 7-day trial but you’ll have to purchase on of DirecTV Now’s packages first.
- Sling TV starting at $15 per month – Sling TV’s Sling Blue plan includes NBC in select markets, so once again you’ll have to check based on where you live. You can also combine the company’s Sling Blue and Sling Orange packages for $25 per month.
- fuboTV $44.99 for the first month – fuboTV offers NBC in select markets which means you’ll have to check before signing up. The service includes Cloud DVR so you can record games to watch them later and if you forget to record a game, the company’s 3-day replay allows you to replay nearly any game, show or movie that aired in the last three days. FuboTV even offers a free 7-day trial so you can test out the service.
– Discover our pick of all the US’s best sports streaming sites
How to watch the 2019 Indy 500: Canada live stream
If you live in Canada and want to watch this year’s Indy 500 on TV, Sportsnet has you covered and the network will begin broadcasting the race at 12.45pm ET (9.45am PT).
If you’d rather stream the event on desktop, mobile or on your favorite streaming device, you can do so by signing up for Sportsnet’s own streaming service, Sportsnet Now. Sportsnet expanded the service last year by adding a new tier called SN Now+ which costs $27.99 per month.
How to watch the 2019 Indy 500: UK live stream
Alternatively, grabbing an £8.99 day pass to Now TV will let you live stream the Indy 500 and events from Monte Carlo (as well as all other Sky Sports coverage over 24 hours).
Outside the UK this weekend? Remember that you can use a VPN to change your IP address to one in the UK where you’ll be able to watch the Indy 500 from any of the streaming services we’ve listed above.