On Tuesday, Dale Earnhardt Jr. made some eyebrow-raising comments on his podcast, the “Dale Jr Download”. He revealed when discussing the new TV deal that his contract with NBC was up after 2023, and that an extension has not yet been reached. Many people were surprised to hear this news, but, what did Earnhardt Jr. actually say, and what does his broadcasting future look like?
- Dale Earnhardt Jr. is a Hall of Fame driver, and he joined the NBC booth full-time in 2018, immediately after he retired. Since then, he has become a very popular broadcaster, alongside owning JR Motorsports and Dirty Mo Media.
- NASCAR’s TV deal is up after the 2024 season. Fox and NBC will return, but, Amazon and Warner Bros. Discovery will join the fray as well.
- Fans were very surprised to hear this news. Many feel that if NBC let Dale Jr. walk, it would be a major blow to the broadcast on NBC.
What Did He Have to Say?
This is the full comment that Earnhardt Jr. had to make regarding his contract situation. He reiterates that he enjoys working with NBC, but, he also admits that his options are open.
My contract with NBC is up, it was up at the end of last year. I’m currently working through what that looks like for me. I definitely love being in the broadcast booth and want to continue doing that. We’ve had some great conversations with all of NASCAR’s TV Partners. My home and and my love is at NBC and I’d love to be back with them so we’ll see where it goes, but right now man I really don’t have a job in terms of broadcasting…As I learn more about my my broadcasting future, certainly keep everybody up to date on that I’m anxious to get that sorted out because certainly have had a lot of fun working with NBC over the years doing that broadcasting in the booth with [Steve] Letarte and those guys.Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Dale Jr. Download
Dale Jr. seems to be keeping his options open, which makes sense. With his contract being up and the NASCAR media landscape shifting, it’s the perfect time to take a look at what else is out there. He has plenty of places he could go in 2025 and beyond.
Could he join the team at Amazon and/or Warner Bros. Discovery? Each will only broadcast 5 races, so Earnhardt Jr. may like to either work with both or in addition to Fox or NBC to give him more races.
Could he join Fox in 2025? Fox could form a 4-person booth with Mike Joy, Clint Bowyer, and Kevin Harvick alongside Earnhardt Jr. similar to NBC’s 4-person booth.
Obviously, joining Fox, Amazon, or Warner Bros. Discovery could mean a 2024 without Earnhardt Jr. in the booth. That would be strange, and Earnhardt Jr. doesn’t seem to want to do that.
However, Earnhardt Jr. was nothing but complimentary of NBC in his comments. He said that NBC is where “My home and my love is at”, and he reiterated how much has has enjoyed working with NBC. It seems that he wants to return to NBC, but, he stopped short of calling it a guarantee.
The Complicating Factor of Dirty Mo Media
One asset that Earnhardt Jr. has is Dirty Mo Media, which includes some of NASCAR’s best podcast content including the “Dale Jr. Download”, “Actions Detrimental with Denny Hamlin”, “Door, Bumper, Clear”, and, most recently, “The Teardown with Jeff Gluck and Jordan Bianchi”.
The Dale Jr. Download episode linked above explained that the Dale Jr. Download no longer has full episodes on Peacock while Earnhardt Jr. is not under contract with NBC. For now, full episodes of the show will be uploaded to YouTube.
Dirty Mo Media is a big asset that Earnhardt Jr. has, and he wants to make sure he puts it in the best position to succeed. Could Dirty Mo Media be a bigger part of Earnhardt Jr.’s next broadcasting contract? Maybe it will and maybe it won’t
Earnhardt Jr. did not specifically mention Dirty Mo Media when he was talking about his broadcasting future, but he did say how the Dale Jr. Download was impacted by the NBC contract running out. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, but, nothing has been said by Earnhardt Jr. publicly yet about how it affects his next contract.
Will Dale Earnhardt Jr. re-up with NBC, or will he return to the booth with another network? This will be an interesting story to follow early in the 2024 season.