The biggest name in NASCAR is on the move.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is leaving NBC and heading to racing newcomers Amazon Prime Video and Warner Bros. Discovery Sports, sources briefed on his decision told The Athletic.

Earnhardt is expected to take this season off and then resume his broadcasting career in 2025 when WBD Sports and Amazon begin their coverage.

The move figures to give WBD Sports and Amazon instant credibility when they start their series. Each will have five races a season. WBD Sports’ races will be broadcast on TNT, streamed on Max and have a Bleacher Report component. NASCAR complements WBD Sports’ robust NBA, NCAA Tournament, MLB and NHL programming schedule.

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Amazon Prime Video’s subscription service already features exclusive NFL games on Thursday nights and it is a leading contender to add the NBA when the league decides its partners in its upcoming negotiations.

Earnhardt informed NBC of his decision last week, according to sources familiar with the conversations. While Earnhardt is expected to take the year off, he does own the flexibility to do another deal with one of the two broadcast partners, which are Fox and NBC. There are no substantial talks at this point with either.

“Dale Earnhardt Jr. is beloved in the NASCAR world and has made numerous contributions to NBC Sports, from his work as an analyst on our NASCAR coverage to his experiences as a correspondent at major events like the Indianapolis 500, the Kentucky Derby, the Super Bowl and the Olympics,” an NBC Sports spokesperson told The Athletic. “We thank Dale and we wish him the best going forward.”

Earnhardt said on his podcast in early February that he hoped to remain with NBC, even as he acknowledged he is without a contract for 2024.

“I definitely love being in the broadcast booth and want to continue doing that,” Earnhardt said on his podcast, “Dale Jr. Download.” “We’ve had some great conversations with all of NASCAR’s TV partners. My home and my love is at NBC, and I’d love to be back with them. So we’ll see where it goes.”

Earnhardt, 49, joined NBC in 2018 immediately after retiring from racing.

NASCAR moved to four partners in its latest TV contracts, remaining with incumbents NBC and Fox, who will continue to air 14 races in 2025 to go along with WBD Sports and Amazon’s combined 10. The overall NASCAR deals are for seven years and an estimated $7.7 billion dollars in total. The current season remains exclusively on Fox and NBC.

In 2025, Amazon and WBD Sports will join the coverage and they each will build around Earnhardt.

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(Photo: Jared C. Tilton / Getty Images)


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