UPDATE (10:25 a.m. ET): Dale Earnhardt Jr. has signed a deal with NBCUniversal that will see him “utilized in a number of capacities” on the network’s NASCAR coverage beginning in 2018, NBC Sports announced Monday.
Earnhardt said in a press release that he’s looking forward to pursuing a profession in front of the camera. His role with NBC, unlike on the show he and his wife, Amy, are launching on the DIY Network, it seemingly will be an extension of his racing career, rather than the start of a new chapter.
“It is a tremendous honor not only to join NBC Sports next year but to begin a new career alongside people who love NASCAR as much as I do,” Earnhardt said in a statement. “To be reunited with Steve Letarte, to be able to call legends like Jeff Burton, Dale Jarrett and Kyle Petty teammates rather than just friends, to be able to continue going to the track and connecting with race fans, it’s a privilege I don’t take lightly. I will devote my heart and soul to this broadcast team and pledge my very best to the millions who watch it.”
Although NBC said the specifics of how it will integrate Earnhardt into its coverage will be confirmed in the coming months, NBC chairman of broadcasting and sports Mark Lazarus hinted that Earnhardt won’t only appear during NASCAR broadcasts.
“We are excited to welcome Dale Jr. to our team — both on and off the track,” Lazarus said in a statement. “As a company, NBCUniversal allows for talent to stretch themselves across not just their field of expertise, but across other areas of their interests in the media world.”
ORIGINAL STORY: Dale Earnhardt Jr. seemingly will continue to be a fixture of NASCAR broadcasts, though he’ll be inside the analyst booth instead of a race car.
Earnhardt has signed a long-term contract with NBCUniversal, SportsBusiness Daily reports, citing anonymous sources. The terms of the deal are expected to extend from January through 2024.
Because Earnhardt’s contract is with NBCUniversal, he reportedly could provide commentary on NBC’s Olympics and/or NFL broadcasts, in addition to its telecasts of both the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and Xfinity Series.
The news, which NBC is expected to confirm Monday, comes roughly a month after SportsBusiness Journal first reported that the 42-year-old Earnhardt was in talks with both FOX and NBC about becoming an analyst after he retires. At the time, though, NBC was believed to be the less likely destination for the second-generation NASCAR driver.
Thumbnail photo via Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports Images
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