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NBCSN Sports Channel Nixed by NBCUniversal

NHL
(Image credit: NHL)

NEW YORK—NBCSN, the cable sports network owned by NBCUniversal, will be shut down by the end of 2021, with its live sport programming, which includes NHL games and NASCAR races, transitioning to USA Network and Peacock.

The Hollywood Reporter obtained an internal memo from NBC Sports Chairman Pete Bevacqua that details the decision.

NHL games, which will include Stanley Cup playoff games, and NASCAR races will start to air on USA Network later this year. Other key elements of NBCSN’s programming will move to USA Network, though in some cases programming will head to Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streaming service.

In addition to the NHL and NASCAR, NBCSN hosted Premier League soccer matches, live Olympics coverage, as well as smaller sports like professional lacrosse. Olympics coverage will likely move to NBC Sports’ The Olympic Channel, though it is not clear if other sports programming will play on USA Network or be exclusive to Peacock.

“This will make USA Network an extraordinarily powerful platform in the media marketplace, and gives our sports programming a significant audience boost,” said Bevacqua in the staff memo. “We believe that the power of this offering is the best long-term strategy for our Sports Group, our partners and our company.

“This transition, combined with our robust portfolio of assets, including Golf Channel, The Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, RSNs, SportsEngine, GolfNow, digital, audio, sports betting and gaming, puts us in an even stronger position as leaders in the sports media space and to continue to grow our business.”

TV Tech’s sister publication B+C called the decision “further evidence that media companies are shifting from their profitable cable networks to the hot streaming category.”