NASCAR on NBC

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NASCAR on NBC
Nascar nbc.jpg
Format Auto Racing
Starring Rick Allen (2015)
Jeff Burton (2014)
Kyle Petty (2014)
Bobby Labonte (2014)
Steve Letarte (2015)
Mike Massaro (1999–2000, 2015)
Dave Burns (2000–2006, 2015)
Jessi Losada (2014)
Omar Amador (2014)
German Quiroga (2014)
Former Version
Bill Weber (2000–2006)
Wally Dallenbach (2001–2006, 2014- NAM)
Allen Bestwick (1999–2006)
Benny Parsons (2000–2006)
Joe Gibbs (1999)
Mike Wallace (1999)
Dorsey Schroeder (1999)
Marty Snider (1999–2006)
Matt Yocum (2001–2006)
Lindsay Czarniak (2005–2006)
Ralph Sheheen (2004–2006)
Brian Williams (1999)
Opening theme TBA (2015 revival)
"Fuel" by Metallica (2001 to 2003 sharing with TNT; 2004 in the Daytona 500 but not as a theme song)
Country of origin United States
Production
Running time Pre-race: 30 minutes - 1 hour
Race: 2.5 - 5 hours (depending on race length)
Broadcast
Original channel NBC (1999-2006, 2015–)
NBCSN (2015–)
CNBC (overflow)
Telemundo (2015–)
mun2 (2014–)
Original airing November 13, 1999
External links
Website

NASCAR on NBC, identified by its on-air logo as NBC NASCAR, is a series of NASCAR races that aired on the network from 19992006 (typically in the second half of the season). On July 23, 2013, NBC obtained the rights to the final 20 races of the Sprint Cup Series, final 19 races of the Nationwide Series, and the races in both K&N Pro Series, Whelen Modified Tour seasons starting in 2015.[1] Also, starting in 2014 the NASCAR Toyota Series will be part of the package, airing on NBC's Spanish-language Telemundo and mun2 channels initially for selected races, but Spanish-language rights to all NASCAR series will be held by NBC starting in 2015.

History[edit]

Prior to the original contract that gave NBC broadcast rights the network aired races such as the National 500 from Charlotte from 1979 to 1981, the Winston 500 from Talladega from 1983 to 1985 and the Miami 300 and Pennzoil 400 from Homestead in both 1999 and 2000. NBC's NASCAR coverage of races during the 70's and 80's were typically taped and edited for Sportsworld.

Original run (2001–2006)[edit]

Background[edit]

On November 11, 1999, a new $2.48 billion contract was signed for American television broadcast rights for NASCAR, split between Fox, its cable partner FX, NBC, and Turner Sports. The contract would run from 2001 through 2006, with Fox and FX covering the first half of the season, and NBC and TBS covering the second half of the season. Shortly after the 2001 season began, and before the second half of the season began, on March 27, 2001, Turner replaced TBS with TNT for its NASCAR programming, as part of its "We Know Drama" re-launch marketing campaign. The song "Fuel" by Metallica was used as the intro song for its telecasts from 2001-2003 as well as for the 2004 Daytona 500 (which aired on NBC), with the song's instrumental backing used as background music and commercial bumpers.

Daytona 500 and Pepsi 400 coverage[edit]

In addition to their coverage of the bulk of the second half of the season, as part of their contract NBC also had rights to the Daytona 500 in even numbered years. NBC aired the race in 2002, 2004, and 2006, with Fox airing the race in 2001, 2003, and 2005. The network that didn't air the 500 aired the Pepsi 400 in July instead. With the new television contract Fox gained exclusive rights to broadcast the Daytona 500 for eight years, with TNT picking up rights to the now-Coke Zero 400.

The start time for the Daytona 500 had progressively moved later into the day. In 2001, the start time was 1:15 p.m. In 2002, the start time was shifted back to 12:45 p.m. (because of the Winter Olympics on NBC), but in 2003, the start time was 1:01 p.m. (originally 1:28 p.m. but NASCAR tried to start the race before rain, which stopped the race prematurely). In 2004, the start time was 1:52 p.m., and the 2005 and 2006 races started at 2:45 p.m. while the 2007 race began at 3:30 p.m.

Regular segments[edit]

A segment during the telecasts was the Aflac Trivia Question, where Benny Parsons "cued the duck" and the Aflac Duck walked across the screen before the question is displayed. Elton John's Bennie and the Jets was used in Benny Parson's "Golden Benny" segment from 2001-02 where he gave a golden trophy to a team member in the NASCAR community for outstanding performance during the previous week's race.

Music[edit]

As previously mentioned, Metallica's "Fuel" was the theme song used for NASCAR broadcasts on NBC and TNT from mid-2001 to the 2003 seasons. (It was also used for the 2004 Daytona 500, but not as the theme song.) However, during portions 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) appears on the NASCAR Full Throttle CD.

Fan bias[edit]

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 compared to Larry McReynolds and Darrell Waltrip. Statistically after its first season Fox races had more viewers than NBC races in 2001.

NBC was also criticized by fans for having long commercial periods during the race, much longer than the commercial periods that would run when Fox televised a race. Two glaring problems on NBC were that restarts were often missed due to long commercial breaks, and the frequent breaks during green flag runs. The name itself, NBC, has been used as an acronym for "Nothing But Commercials". This cliché was mocked in the film Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, when NBC is shown to take a quick commercial break (with an Applebee's commercial) when Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) and Jean Girard (Sacha Baron Cohen) wreck their cars in a very long-lasting crash (then-NBC team Weber, Dallenbach, and Parsons cameo as themselves covering the 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[edit]

In mid October 2005, NBC announced that it would not renew its package starting in 2007, largely because of its acquisition of the Sunday Night Football telecast from ESPN.

From 2007 until 2014, the Daytona 500 would be shown every year on Fox under the terms of the television contract. ESPN and ABC rejoined the NASCAR broadcast team as part of the deal, taking the second half of the season's races, and TNT retained its broadcast rights by signing 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.

When 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 so that Football Night in America could start on time.

NASCAR returns to NBC[edit]

On July 23, 2013, NASCAR announced that NBC Sports had reached a new deal to broadcast the final 20 races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season (from the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky through the Ford 400 at Homestead), the final 19 races of the NASCAR Nationwide Series season, along with coverage of select regional series events and Mexico's Toyota Series. The deal will also include broadcast rights to the NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony and post-season awards banquets.

The new contract will run from 2015 to 2024, replacing the previous ESPN and Turner Sports contracts, and also includes Spanish-language (for Telemundo and Mun2) and digital rights. The majority of NBC's NASCAR coverage under the new contract will air on NBCSN, but selected events will be broadcast by the NBC network. 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.[2][3]

In late-August 2013, it was reported that ESPN and Turner were negotiating the possibility of ending their contracts early, allowing NBC to take over NASCAR rights in the 2014 season instead of 2015. ESPN cited cost concerns surrounding its inability to spread production costs across multiple events during the first half of the season, along with poor ad sales (an issue which would be magnified during the last season of its contract, as it would no longer be able to negotiate long-term advertising deals with sponsors). While the proposal was supported by both Fox and NBC (who planned to put race coverage on Fox Sports 1 and NBCSN under the new contracts), along with NASCAR executives, such an arrangement would require negotiations between NASCAR and the four broadcasters. However, NASCAR's Vice President of Broadcasting Steve Herbst denied that this was to be the case.[4][5]

On December 3, 2013, Jeff Burton was confirmed as the first member of the broadcast team.[6] On December 4, 2013, current Camping World Truck Series announcer, Rick Allen signed a multi-year contract to be the lead announcer for NBC.[7] 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 and NBC Sports Network in 2015 as a color analyst.[8] This in turn leaves the NBC booth lineup looking identical to the FOX or ESPN booth lineup: a TV personality (Mike Joy,Marty Reid, or Rick Allen), a former driver (Darrell Waltrip,Dale Jarrett, or Jeff Burton), and a former crew chief (Larry McReynolds,Andy Petree, or Steve Letarte). On January 11, 2014, Jim Utter of The News & Observer reported that Dave Burns and Mike Massaro will join the team.[9] Eleven days later, NBC Sports Group announced that Marty Snider and Kelli Stavast have been added as pit reporters.[10]

On February 7, 2014, NASCAR announced that mun2 will air the season-opening 120-mile race at Phoenix International Raceway live on February 28, 2014 for the Toyota Series, the sanctioning body's Mexico-based series that holds its season opening race during The Profit on CNBC 500 weekend at the Avondale, Arizona circuit. [11]

The race, to be broadcast in Spanish, will feature Telemundo broadcasters Jessi Losada, Omar Amador, and Ana Jurka (pit reporter), with German Quiroga, a Camping World Truck Series driver, as analyst.

On February 24, 2014, NBC Sports Network debuted NASCAR America, an analysis and magazine program, which airs weekdays at 5 PM ET. Allen and Burton are joined by Bobby Labonte, Kyle Petty, Ken Schrader, Wally Dallenbach, Jr., and Frank Stoddard (former crew chief, co-owner of Go FAS Racing) as analysts, with Leigh Diffey occasionally substituting for Allen.

Announcers (2015 revival)[edit]

Booth announcers[edit]

Host[edit]

Pit reporters[edit]

Announcers (1999–2006)[edit]

Host[edit]

Booth announcers[edit]

Pit reporters[edit]

In the opening sequence, a driver can be heard shouting over his radio, "Good job guys, good job!!" This is the voice of driver Rusty Wallace when he won the 2004 Advance Auto Parts 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "NBC wins rights to second half of NASCAR Sprint Cup season; pushes out ESPN, Turner". SBNation.com. 23 July 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  2. ^ "NBC wins NASCAR TV rights, signs 10-year deal to replace ESPN, Turner". Sporting News. Retrieved 24 July 2013. 
  3. ^ "NASCAR AND NBC SPORTS GROUP REACH LANDMARK MEDIA RIGHTS AGREEMENT". NBC Sports Group Press Box. Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "ESPN, Turner in talks to exit NASCAR early". Sports Business Journal. Retrieved 27 August 2013. 
  5. ^ "NASCAR says TV partners unlikely to change in 2014". The Sporting News. Retrieved 11 September 2013. 
  6. ^ Caraviello, David (3 December 2013). "Burton to join NBC broadcast team in 2015". NASCAR. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  7. ^ "NBC tabs Rick Allen as lead race announcer". NASCAR. 4 December 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2013. 
  8. ^ Fryer, Jenna (9 January 2014). "Steve Letarte to join NBC Sports in 2015". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  9. ^ Utter, Jim (11 January 2014). "Sources: NBC inches closer to finalizing on-air broadcasting lineup for 2015.". The News & Observer. Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  10. ^ Estrada (22 January 2014). "Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast added to NBC’s NASCAR on-air team". NBC Sports. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  11. ^ NASCAR (7 February 2014). "Mexico Series Returns To Phoenix For Opener mun2 Hispanic Cable Network Will Broadcast Toyota 120 Live". Retrieved 26 February 2014. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
CBS
Daytona 500 television broadcaster
2001 - 2006 (even numbered years only; Fox aired the Daytona 500 in odd numbered years)
Succeeded by
Fox