For the first time on an oval, NBC Sports is planning on utilizing a “Radio Style” broadcast for the 25th Brickyard 400 race weekend. Just like at Watkins Glen, NBC is adding MRN’s Mike Bagley to the broadcast as a reporter.
NBC’s setup is to have regular play-by-play broadcaster Rick Allen and analyst Steve Letarte in the pagoda covering the frontstretch and turn one. Bagley will be in turn two while Dale Earnhardt Jr. will take care of turn three (Parker Kligerman will be there for the Xfinity race) and Jeff Burton will handle turn four. When the leaders enter their area, they will pick up the broadcast and then when they go to another part of the track, the next person continues the commentary. Think of it like broadcasting improv.
Since NBC took over broadcasting duties in July, they have experimented with the broadcasting setup now that they added Dale Jr. Sometimes, all four are up in the booth or they have two booths with two people, other times some combination of the four go down to pit road while the others are in the booth. In addition, NBC has allowed the analysts opportunities to do some play-by-play while Allen does something different that weekend.
“Radio Style” broadcasts have been popular among fans but it’s something NBC has only done at road courses. It’s something different and typically provides added excitement among the broadcasters compared to other races but that can only be done at certain tracks. Like at Watkins Glen, Indianapolis is big and lap times are longer than most so that gives the turn reporters time to give insightful commentary before they head into another part of the track.
And for NBC’s broadcasters, doing different things each week not only keeps things unique and interesting but will make them all better broadcasters. And if the fans love the setup, like they do for “Radio Style” broadcasts, that’s even better.
[NBC Sports PR/Photo: @NBCSportsPR]