|Genre Auto racing telecasts|
Original language(s) English
Number of seasons 8
|Country of origin United States|
First episode date 13 November 1999
Cast Joe Gibbs, Jeff Burton
|Presented by Rick Allen
(for other reporters and former staff, see announcers section below)|
Theme music composer Kirk Hammett, James Hetfield & Lars Ulrich (2001–2003) Jess Leary & Anthony Smith (2015–2016) Alistair Griffin (2017)
Opening theme "Fuel" by Metallica (2001–2003) "Bringing Back the Sunshine" by Blake Shelton (2015–2016) "Just Drive" by Alistair Griffin (2017)
Theme songs Fuel, Bringing Back the Sunshine
Networks NBC, CNBC, NBCSN, USA Network, NBC Universo, Telemundo Deportes
Awards Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Live Sports Series
Similar NHL on NBC, NFL on NBC, The Dan Patrick Show, Football Night in America, NASCAR America
NASCAR on NBC (visually branded as NBC NASCAR in logos shown within on-air graphics and network promotions) is the branding used for broadcasts of NASCAR races that are produced by NBC Sports, and televised on several NBCUniversal-owned television networks, including the NBC broadcast network in the United States. The network originally aired races, typically during the second half of the season, from 1999 to 2006.
- Regular segments
- Fan bias
- NASCAR leaves NBC
- NASCAR returns to NBC
- Music and graphics
- Broadcast booth
- Pre race and post racestudio shows
- Pit reporters
On July 23, 2013, NBC signed a new agreement with NASCAR to obtain the rights to races from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series, K&N Pro Series and Whelen Modified Tour seasons starting in 2015. In addition, NBCUniversal also gained the rights to the NASCAR Toyota Series starting in 2014, airing on its Spanish-language networks Telemundo and mun2 channels initially for selected races, with NBC obtaining Spanish-language rights to all NASCAR series starting in 2015.
Prior to the original 1999 contract between NASCAR and NBC, the network aired races such as the National 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway from 1979 to 1981, the Winston 500 at Alabama International Motor Speedway from 1983 to 1985, and the Miami 300 and Pennzoil 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in both 1999 and 2000.
During the 1970s and 1980s, NBC often pre-recorded coverage of NASCAR races, with the edited broadcasts airing as part of the network's sports anthology series Sportsworld.
On November 11, 1999, NASCAR signed a five-year, US$2.48 billion contract which split the American television rights for NASCAR races between Fox, its cable partner FX, NBC and Turner Sports. The contract began in 2001 and went as follows.
As 2001 began, however, Turner Sports decided to make a change to its broadcast arrangement. At the time, Turner Broadcasting was in the midst of a format change for its cable channel TNT that was to make it a drama-centric network. To keep with the branding the network took on, "We Know Drama", Turner Sports decided to make TNT be NBC's cable partner and end the seventeen-year relationship TBS had with NASCAR.
Some of the regular features of NBC's race coverage were:
During the broadcasts' opening sequence later in the run of the initial contract, a driver can be heard shouting over his radio, "Good job guys, good job." The audio for this clip was taken from Rusty Wallace after his win during the spring 2004 race at Martinsville Speedway.
The Metallica song "Fuel" was used as the theme song for NBC and TNT's NASCAR broadcasts from mid-2001 to the 2003 season, and was also used for the 2004 Daytona 500 (which aired on NBC), with the song's instrumental backing used as background music and commercial bumpers. However, for part of the 2001 season, the opening scream used in the opening was removed because of its close association with terrorists in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The pre-release version of the song entitled "Fuel For Fire" (with different lyrics) was released as part of the NASCAR Full Throttle CD.
Some fans reacted negatively to NBC's coverage, claiming that it was largely inferior to Fox in terms of both technological capabilities and bland commentators. Wally Dallenbach and Bill Weber were viewed as monotone and boring in their delivery, compared to Larry McReynolds and Darrell Waltrip. Statistically after its first season, Fox race telecasts had more viewers than those on NBC during 2001.
NBC was also criticized by fans for incorporating long commercial breaks during the race, much longer than the breaks that Fox would run during its race telecasts. Two glaring problems with the NBC coverage were that restarts were often missed due to these extended commercial breaks, that breaks during green flag runs were too frequent. Fans and media columnists used "Nothing But Commercials," as a jocular acronym for NBC's coverage. This cliché was mocked in the film Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, during a scene in which NBC is shown to take a quick commercial break during a race (with a commercial for Applebee's) when Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) and Jean Girard (Sacha Baron Cohen) wreck their cars in a very long-lasting crash (NBC's announcing team at the time of Weber, Dallenbach and Parsons had cameos during the scene covering the fictional race).
By 2004, however, NBC had made substantial improvements in regards to both technology and commentating. Although NASCAR and NBC ended their partnership after the 2006 season, many fans hoped that they could reunite in the next television contract in spite of problems with partners ESPN and TNT.
NASCAR leaves NBC
In mid-October 2005, NBC announced that it might not renew its contract end of the NASCAR contract after the 2006 season, largely because of its acquisition of the Sunday Night Football telecast from ESPN.
The restructured broadcast deal awarded Fox the rights to the Daytona 500 from 2007 until 2014. The contract also allowed ESPN and ABC to regain NASCAR rights, taking the second half of the season's races; meanwhile, TNT retained its broadcast rights and signed a contract to air six mid-season races. The ESPN family of networks became the exclusive home of the NASCAR Busch/Nationwide Series as part of the contract, replacing TNT, NBC, Fox and FX as broadcasters.
As the NFL and NASCAR contracts overlapped during the 2006 Chase for the Nextel Cup, some of NBC's post-race shows were moved to CNBC in order to allow the broadcast network's NFL pre-game show Football Night in America to start on time.
NASCAR returns to NBC
On July 23, 2013, NASCAR announced a nine-year contract with NBC Sports to broadcast the final 20 races of the Sprint Cup Series season (from the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway through the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead), the final 19 races of the Xfinity Series season, along with coverage of select regional series events and the NASCAR Mexico Series, succeeding both former partners TNT and ESPN. The deal also awarded NBC Sports the rights to provide coverage on digital platforms, rights to Spanish-language coverage for Telemundo and mun2 (now NBC Universo), broadcast rights to the NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony and post-season awards banquets. The deal runs from 2015 to 2024, although the Mexico Series race at Phoenix International Raceway began in 2014.
The majority of NBC's NASCAR coverage under the new contract will air on NBCSN, however seven races will be broadcast by the NBC broadcast network, including the Coke Zero 400, the Southern 500 at Darlington, the Chase races at Charlotte and Kansas, and the last three races (Texas, Phoenix and Homestead-Miami) consecutively.
NBC Sports took over the portion of the contract previously held by ESPN and Turner Sports. While financial details were not disclosed, NBC reportedly paid 50% more than the $2.7 billion paid by ESPN and Turner combined under the previous contract.
Former Turner Sports executive Jeff Behnke serves as vice president of NASCAR programming for NBC Sports.
NBC began to lead into its new contract in February 2014 with the premiere of a nightly news and analysis program, NASCAR America, on NBCSN, and a broadcast of the Toyota 120 from Phoenix International Raceway – the opening event of the 2014 season of the NASCAR Toyota Series, on mun2.
On February 3, 2015, NBC Sports announced an agreement to air 39 regional series races from the K&N Pro Series East and West, Whelen Modified Tour and Whelen Southern Modified Tour on NBCSN.
The first U.S.-series race under the contract was the The Hart to Heart Breast Cancer Foundation 150—the first race of the 2015 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season—at New Smyrna Speedway, and was aired on February 19 on NBCSN.
During Summer Olympic years (three during the contract, in 2016, 2020, and 2024), NBC will assign different NBCUniversal channels to air races as a result of scheduling conflicts. For 2016, CNBC (used for English Premier League, IndyCar, and Formula One for NBCSN conflicts) will carry Sprint Cup and Xfinity qualifying along with one Xfinity race, and USA Network (used for Premier League conflicts) will carry two Xfinity and one Sprint Cup race.
On December 3, 2013, Jeff Burton was confirmed as the first member of the broadcast team.
On December 4, 2013, Rick Allen, who previously worked at Fox Sports as an announcer for its Camping World Truck Series coverage, signed a multi-year contract to serve as the lead announcer for NBC's race broadcasts.
On January 9, 2014, it was confirmed that Steve Letarte would leave his role as Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s crew chief at Hendrick Motorsports and join NBC Sports as a color analyst. Behnke explained that the on-air makeup of NBC Sports' broadcasts would have "a relevancy that hasn't been seen in a long, long time", citing the recent involvements of both Burton and Letarte in NASCAR prior to their move to broadcasting.
On June 1, 2015, Brian Vickers announced via Twitter that he would be joining the telecasts of the New Hampshire and Michigan races.
Leigh Diffey, lead announcer for NBC's Formula One and IndyCar coverage, announced via Twitter he will be commentating at some Xfinity races for NBC. The races will likely be split-weekend races where the Xfinity Series and Sprint Cup Series are racing at different venues.
The pit reporters for 2016 consist of Dave Burns, Mike Massaro, Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast, Parker Kligerman, Ralph Sheheen, Alex Hayden, and Jim Noble. Burns and Snider were with NBC's original NASCAR pit crew, while Massaro joins from ESPN's NASCAR team and Stavast from the network's sports car coverage. The pre-race show will be hosted by former Fox reporter Krista Voda along with former ESPN analyst Dale Jarrett, former TNT analyst Kyle Petty, and Top Gear host Rutledge Wood.
On April 15, 2015, it was announced that Ralph Sheheen and Ray Evernham would be part of the booth of the NBCSN telecasts of the Whelen Modified Tour and Whelen Southern Modified Tour.
On September 1, 2015, it was announced that Ken Squier and Ned Jarrett would commentate a portion of the 2015 Bojangles' Southern 500 along with current NASCAR on NBC commentator Dale Jarrett. Squier was also in the broadcast booth for Sprint Cup Series final practice. The team also commentated part of the 2016 Bojangles' Southern 500.
On September 11, 2015, it was announced that Carl Edwards will be in the NBCSN broadcast booth as a guest analyst for the Xfinity race at Richmond alongside Dale Jarrett and Diffey. Jamie McMurray will be a guest analyst for the NXS race at Chicagoland.
Music and graphics
The intro for the revived run of NASCAR on NBC is Bringing Back the Sunshine performed by country music artist Blake Shelton, who is also one of the coaches on NBC's own prime time hit show, The Voice.
NBC's peacock logo bug turns green, yellow, red, or white when the respective racing flag is deployed.