Blogs
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Jan 5

Written by:
1/5/2012 8:53 AM  RssIcon

The transition occurred at 4 p.m. on Jan. 2.

With the start of the New Year, Comcast has rebranded its Versus sports channel as the NBC Sports Network, looking to challenge ESPN’s dominance in all things sports. The transition occurred at 4 p.m. on Jan. 2, with a special edition of NBC “SportsTalk” leading into a 2012 NHL Winter Classic post-game show.

With the start of the New Year, Comcast has rebranded its Versus sports channel as the NBC Sports Network, looking to challenge ESPN’s dominance in all things sports. The transition occurred at 4 p.m. on Jan. 2, with a special edition of NBC “SportsTalk” leading into a 2012 NHL Winter Classic post-game show.

The rechristened channel, called NBCSN for short, will broadcast sports-related content around the clock, leveraging Comcast’s regional sports presence and NBC’s significant international sports production arm. It will emphasize the National Hockey League and Major League Soccer initially, but numerous company reps have stated that the company has bigger plans. NBC promoted the new channel during its “Sunday Night Football” broadcast of the Giants/Cowboys game on New Year’s Day.

Last year, the NHL signed a new 10-year exclusive rights deal with NBC’s parent company Comcast-NBC Universal that puts 100 NHL games annually on NBC and its sports network.

Programming this first year will lean heavily on the Olympics, 38 regular-season major league soccer games, 13 IndyCar series races, 14 hours a day of Tour de France coverage for most of July, 90 regular-season NHL games along with 50 NHL playoff games, 20 hours of horse-racing coverage around the Triple Crown, and 40 college football, basketball and hockey games.

NBC says it will bring its distinctive brand of storytelling to the sports channel, setting it apart from ESPN. NBC personality Bob Costas will host periodic “town hall” specials, the first of which will appear before the Super Bowl from 613-seat Indiana Repertory Theater in Indianapolis.

NBC research found that not even half of TV viewers had heard of Versus, the name Comcast picked in 2006 to rename its OLN (formerly Outdoor Life Network) channel. While ESPN reaches about 100 million households, NBCSN has about 76 million subscribers, so Comcast has its work cut out for it.

Tags:
Categories:
Location: Blogs Parent Separator BE Blogs

Your name:
Gravatar Preview
Your email:
(Optional) Email used only to show Gravatar.
Your website:
Title:
Comment:
Add Comment   Cancel 




Monday 6:39AM
What Price Reliability?
Digitally delivered TV has seen a pile o’ fail lately.


 
Featured Articles
Discover TV Technology