Dale Earnhardt Jr. leaving NBC for Amazon Prime, Warner Bros. Discovery: Sources

The biggest name in NASCAR is moving on.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is leaving NBC and headed to newcomer Amazon Prime Video and Warner Bros. Discovery Sports, sources briefed on his decision said. 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 gives WBD Sports and Amazon instant credibility upon launching their series. Each will have five races in a season. WBD Sports' races will be broadcast on TNT, streamed on Max and feature a bleacher report component. NASCAR complements WBD Sports' strong NBA, NCAA Tournament, MLB and NHL programming schedules.

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Amazon Prime Video's subscription service already features exclusive NFL games on Thursday nights and 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 negotiations. While Earnhardt is expected to take a year off, he has the flexibility to work out another deal with one of the two broadcast partners, Fox and NBC. There has been no concrete conversation with either of them at this point.

“Dale Earnhardt Jr. is beloved in the NASCAR world and has made many contributions to NBC Sports, from his work as an analyst on our NASCAR coverage to his experiences as a correspondent at major events such as the Indianapolis 500, Kentucky Derby, Super till. Bowl and the Olympics,” an NBC Sports spokesperson said. athletic, “We thank Dale and wish him well in the future.”

Earnhardt said on his podcast in early February that he expected to remain with NBC, although he acknowledged he did not have a contract for 2024.

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

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

NASCAR joins four partners in its latest TV contracts, with the remainder currently held by NBC and Fox, which will continue to broadcast 14 races through 2025, with WBD Sports and Amazon combining for a combined 10. The total NASCAR deals are for seven years and are worth an estimated $7.7. Total billion dollars. The current season continues to air exclusively on Fox and NBC.

In 2025, Amazon and WBD will join forces in sports coverage and they will each build around Earnhardt.

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(Photo: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

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