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Everything We Know About NASCAR on NBC in 2024: Booth Shakeup, New Network, and More

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What’s Happening?

As the NASCAR circus heads to Iowa Speedway this weekend, NBC gets set to broadcast the second half of the 2024 NASCAR season. However, some big changes are coming to NBC this season, including a familiar face out of the picture and new faces stepping in.

  • The broadcast booth is the biggest change fans will notice with NBC this season. Whereas arguably NBC’s most popular commentator is stepping out, other popular commentators are stepping in, opening the door to some interesting possibilities for NBC in the next NASCAR TV contract beginning in 2025.
  • NBC will also relinquish the final eight races of the 2024 Xfinity Series schedule to a new network. However, NBC will remain heavily involved with the series for that portion of the season.
  • Fans are ecstatic to see NBC return to NASCAR this weekend. The new faces add another level of intrigue to NBC’s 2024 season.

No More Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Perhaps the biggest broadcasting story of 2024 so far is Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s move from NBC to Amazon (Prime Video) and Warner Bros. Discovery (TNT). With the latter two entities not broadcasting NASCAR until the next media rights deal starts in 2025, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will NOT be broadcasting any races for NBC this season. His podcast company, Dirty Mo Media, has also entered a deal with Sirius XM.

This is a huge loss for NBC, and fans will certainly miss Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the booth in 2024. However, NBC has found some star power to help mitigate the loss of Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Leigh Diffey Joins the Team

In the wake of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s exit, Adam Stern of Sports Business Journal reported that NBC would also be changing its lead announcers. Leigh Diffey would take over for Rick Allen to broadcast Cup Series races sometime after the Olympic break while Allen continues to broadcast the Xfinity Series. The exact timeline is unclear, but with IndyCar done by mid-September, Diffey is available call nine of the 10 Cup Series Playoff races.

This could have major ramifications for NBC in 2025. With IndyCar potentially leaving NBC, Diffey could slot into the lead announcer role for NASCAR. This would make Allen a hot commodity to be the lead broadcaster for Prime Video and TNT in 2025.

Jimmie Johnson Joins NBC

With Dale Earnhardt Jr. gone, NBC brought in another NASCAR Hall of Famer. Jimmie Johnson will work as an analyst for NBC’s coverage of at least three races this season, the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona (August 24th), the Yellawood 500 at Talladega (October 6th), and the Championship Race at Phoenix (November 10th). Johnson is also slated to compete in the Championship race at Phoenix in the No. 84 car.

Johnson does not have much experience in the booth, but he was slated to join NBC’s coverage of the 2024 Indianapolis 500. While rain hampered those plans, he seems open to at least testing the waters of broadcasting. Time will tell if this means anything for NBC and Johnson beyond 2024.

Returning Talent

While there have been some changes to the NASCAR on NBC booth for 2017, much of the talent returns for 2024. Rick Allen, Jeff Burton, and Steve Letarte will all be back, so, until the Olympic break at least, the booth will likely be similar to the Pre-2018 NASCAR on NBC booth before Dale Earnhardt Jr. joined unless someone like Kyle Petty or Dale Jarrett moves to the booth. The same pit reporters and studio talent like Mart Snider, Dave Burns, Kim Coon, Dillon Welch, Kyle Petty, and Dale Jarrett are all set to return as well.

It’s still unclear if NBC will return to the “radio-style” broadcasts on road courses, which could mean Mike Bagley’s return for a few races. How many more individuals could move on to one of NASCAR’s other media rights partners for 2025 is unclear. Maybe some could work for multiple partners, similar to when individuals like Larry McReynolds and Matt Yocum worked for both Fox and TNT between 2007 and 2014.

The CW Taking Over the Xfinity Series

NBC will forfeit the rights to broadcast the final eight Xfinity Series races of 2024 and allow The CW to take over broadcasting the series one season early. However, NBC will still produce the broadcasts with the same talent as a typical NBC broadcast. It will still largely be an NBC broadcast, except on a different network.

However, it’s unknown how The CW broadcasts will work in 2025. NASCAR will produce the broadcasts, but the talent, pit reporters, and everything in between has not been set yet.

Peacock

NBC has announced only one Peacock race for 2024, the Chicago Street Race, which is on July 7th. Based on Peacock races from 2021 through 2023, it seems likely that the Brickyard 400, Season Finale at Phoenix, and Playoff cutoff races at Charlotte and Martinsville could be prime candidates for this. However, no official announcement has come from NBC.

It’s important to note that any Peacock races will still be available on TV, but if fans want to stream, they need a Peacock subscription and cannot use the NBC Sports App. However, 2024 is the last year that fans can use the NBC Sports App to stream NASCAR races. Peacock will be the exclusive streamer for NBC’s portion of the schedule from 2025 through 2031, simulcasting the races broadcast on NBC and USA.

Are you excited for NASCAR on NBC in 2024? Let us know on Discord or X what your take is, and don’t forget you can also follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and even YouTube.

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