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“I Promise That’s the Truth” – Dale Earnhardt Jr Shuts Down False Reports of His Ugly Break-Up With NBC

Published 03/05/2024, 12:09 AM EST

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As per the sources cited by Andrew Marchand of The Athletic, Dale Earnhardt Jr is packing his bags at NBC and setting his sights on new horizons with Amazon Prime Video and Warner Bros. Discovery Sports. Looks like he’s planning to wind down for this season and then jump back into the broadcast game in 2025 when WBD Sports and Amazon kick off their coverage.

But the big question, ‘Why the sudden switch?’ lingers in the minds of many. After a solid six-year run, it caught everyone off guard that he’d decide to change lanes as soon as his contract wrapped up last year. Then, out of the blue, a Reddit post dropped, stirring up the NASCAR community with claims that Dale Jr got an earful at NBC. Now, the man has stepped up to clear the air about all the buzz.

Dale Earnhardt Jr clears the air about the BTS at NBC

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Heading into 2024,  Dale Earnhardt Jr isn’t the only big name said to be parting ways with NBC. Paul Azinger, a big-shot golf analyst, has also decided to cut ties. He spilled the beans on the nitty-gritty of what went down during his contract talks, pointing the finger at some negotiation snags with Sam Flood, the big boss at NBC Sports who oversees golf production. Azinger’s departure and his reasons opened the floodgates for all sorts of wild guesses about what’s really happening behind the scenes.

Meanwhile, the NASCAR world got whipped into a frenzy over a Reddit post making some hefty claims. It suggested NBC wanted Dale Jr to anchor from the Charlotte Studios and commentate on races from afar. More so, it hinted at some behind-the-scenes tension, mentioning how Dale Jr got an earful through the producer’s channel for preferring to watch the race with his own eyes, straight from the booth windows, instead of sticking to the TV monitors like NBC wanted.

But now, Dale Earnhardt Jr has stepped up to set the record straight, making it clear that the rumors flying around were just that—rumors. “This is all untrue. NBC is not considering a remote booth and I was never scolded for anything. NBC was amazing and everyone there taught me a ton. I promise that’s the truth. Nothing but respect and love for everyone there that I came in contact with.”

Following Dale Jr’s announcement, NBC put out a statement about his departure. With NASCAR’s new TV deals, they’re sticking with NBC and Fox, which will air 14 races each in 2025, plus the new additions of WBD Sports and Amazon, who are splitting another 10 races. These deals, lasting seven years and worth around $7.7 billion, mean NASCAR’s getting some serious screen time. This season, it’s all about Fox and NBC.

Looking ahead, FOX Sports gets the first 14 races of the season, then Amazon Prime Video takes over for five, followed by Warner Bros. Discovery handling another five, which you can catch on TNT and the B/R Sports level of the Max streaming service. NBC rounds out the season with the last 14 races. But who Dale Jr will team up with at Amazon and Warner Bros. Discovery is still up in the air.

Despite the wild speculation causing quite the stir, it seems Dale Jr’s decision to leave NBC has gotten the thumbs up from Denny Hamlin, one of his employees, though Hamlin’s take on the move seems a bit mixed.

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Denny Hamlin said he likes the decision for Junior and NBC

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Denny Hamlin shared some upbeat thoughts on his podcast, “Actions Detrimental,” about Dale Jr’s big switch to streaming platforms. Alongside co-host Jared Allen, Hamlin didn’t hold back: “I like this move, I like it for both.”

He broke it down a bit more, saying, “I like it for NBC and Dale Jr I think NBC’s got two or three really strong guys there, and Dale Jr He was the one that kind of started that but I think that they have enough talent to carry it, and I just feel like when you have these new partners in. You want to have a really strong announcing core. NASCAR will play a big role in the production of those of Amazon and Warner Bros so Dale Jr being kind of the anchor there. I like that move for Dale Jr.”

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Read More: Denny Hamlin Joins Dale Earnhardt Jr in Exposing Fox’s Heavily Criticized Broadcasting Flaws

In 2025, with Amazon and WBD Sports stepping into the NASCAR broadcasting arena, they’re planning to build their coverage around Earnhardt. This shift not only taps into the booming streaming scene but also matches up with motorsports’ growing fanbase. Plus, it’s rumored that Dale Jr might be seeing a nice bump in pay compared to what he was making at NBC. The real scoop behind Dale Jr’s leap to streaming, though, remains under wraps.

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Written by:

Neha Dwivedi

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Neha Dwivedi is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. As a journalist, she religiously believes in the power of research, which allows her readers to dive deep into her stories and experience the detailed nuances of the sport like never before. Being proficient with Core Sport and Live Event Coverage, she has written multiple copies on the top entities of Stock Car Racing, like Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, and Tony Stewart.
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Edited by:

Jayant Chhabra