NBC has decided to institute a five-second delay for its National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing coverage beginning with Sunday's Banquet 400 race from Kansas City Speedway.

The move follows an "S-word" that slipped into a post-race interview with Dale Earnhardt Jr. last week.
"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. "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."
NASCAR also fined Earnhardt earlier this week and took points away from him in the race for the overall championship.

"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," said Ebersol.

NBC already delays all its live award show  broadcasts in the wake of the FCC crackdown on indecency, including the finding that Bono's use of the F-word on an NBC telecast was indecent.

The Parents Television Council, which generated the Bono complaint, said Wednesday it is likely to file a complaint against the Earnhardt S-Word.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.