NBC Sports to Delay NASCAR Coverage

Oct 7, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Breaking with tradition, NBC Sports said today it will institute a five-second delay in NASCAR coverage beginning Sunday from Kansas Speedway during the Nextel Cup Series Banquet 400. The move follows a cursing incident involving popular NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and reflects broader pressure on broadcasters to keep the airwaves clean following the large fine imposed on CBS after the Janet Jackson “wardrobe malfunction” during the Super Bowl.

“We’re disappointed for our viewers to have to do this, but the delay provides a level of protection against anything inappropriate going out over the air,” said Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Universal Sports & Olympics. “For more than a half-century, most major American sporting events have aired live. While broadcasting on delay is extremely unfortunate, we’ve come to the conclusion that taking this step provides the additional safeguard needed in today’s climate.”

The language issue flared up this week on the NASCAR circuit after Mr. Earnhardt uttered a profanity in Victory Lane following his win in the EA Sports 500 in Talladega, Ala. NASCAR officials subsequently fined Mr. Earnhardt $10,000 and docked him 25 championship points, dropping him from the points lead into second place in the chase for the Nextel Cup title.