NBC has addressed the growing rumors regarding the future of its NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) cable channel and confirmed it will be shuttered at the end of 2021. The decision will have a major impact on numerous sporting leagues and series, including NASCAR, IndyCar, and IMSA, which have a significant number of their races aired each year on NBCSN.
“At the conclusion of 2021, we have decided that the best strategic next step for our Sports Group and the entire company is to wind down NBCSN completely, with key elements of NBCSN’s programming moving to USA Network and, in some cases, Peacock for 2022 and beyond,” the broadcaster told its staff in an internal memo that was released.
NASCAR will begin its migration from NBCSN to the USA Network later this year. No information was provided by NBC on when or where its other racing series will be aired, although RACER understands IndyCar and IMSA have been discussed as candidates for being shown on the new Peacock streaming service when they are not presented on the NBC network.
“NBC Sports has always been a transparent partner, and we were aware of this upcoming strategy shift,” said IndyCar in a statement. “Our 2021 broadcast schedule is not impacted by this decision. We plan to discuss our future broadcast arrangements in the late spring.”
NASCAR and IMSA reacted to the announcement with a joint statement:
“We are committed to ensuring that NASCAR and IMSA races are carried and distributed smartly to our broad and loyal fan base. NBC is a best-in-class partner and we will work together to ensure continued high quality delivery of our events now and in the future.”
This story was updated after publication to include the statements from IndyCar and NASCAR/IMSA.