NBC To Use Five-Second Delay

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NEW YORK - NBC Sports will institute a five-second delay in NASCAR coverage beginning Sunday from Kansas Speedway during the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Banquet 400.

"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, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics.

Ebersol thought NASCAR's warning to drivers in February about inappropriate language was enough.

"We thought we could rely upon the precedent of NASCAR's disciplinary action taken earlier this year when two Busch Series drivers uttered profanities during radio interviews."

Ebersol said the network originally planned to only use the delay in spots, but decided use the technology for the entire race was the way to go.

"Our initial hope would have been to broadcast on delay only during pre- and post-race coverage, but by using the delay during competition, our pit reporters won't be limited in interviewing drivers, crew chiefs and team owners as compelling stories inevitably unfold under the pressure and intensity of the moment."

Ebersol said the delay was not something they necessarily wanted to do, but something they felt they had to do.

"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 radio communication between teams and drivers during actual racing has always been heard on delay during NASCAR telecasts on NBC.

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