According to reports, NBC plans to shut down the NBC Sports Network by the end of the year. This has implications for NASCAR, as the NBC family broadcasts the final 20 races of the Cup Series season and the final 19 races of the Xfinity Series season.
The date that the channel is shutting down hasn’t been decided, but once it’s eliminated, NASCAR events scheduled to air on NBC Sports Network will air on USA Network, another channel owned by NBC.
In 2013, NBC and NASCAR agreed to a 10-year, $8.2 billion deal to air 39 NASCAR races a season beginning in 2015. After the 2021 season, it isn’t clear how races will be split between all of NBC’s networks.
However, the change isn’t expected to affect any scheduled NASCAR races airing on other NBC channels this season. 12 races between the two series are scheduled to air on NBC, and one race is scheduled to air on CNBC (Xfinity at Watkins Glen). As far as we know, Rick Allen, Jeff Burton, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Steve Letarte are still expected to remain NASCAR’s lead voices for NBC.
Despite being one of the top-grossing sports networks, NBC is likely shutting down NBCSN to help grow their streaming service, Peacock. Peacock is home to exclusive shows and sporting events that can’t be seen on linear television, and NBC has shown a desire to boost the service.
The decision to eliminate NBCSN will also affect the NHL and Premier League soccer, who each have mega-deals with the network. Additionally, multiple NCAA conferences that have deals with NBC and NBCSN will have to find a new home for events.