NBC Universal will shut down sports channel NBCSN by the end of the year, with several prominent events – most notably, the National Hockey League to USA Network – sent to other properties.
The move was announced Friday by NBC Universal..
“At the conclusion of 2021, we have decided that the best strategic next step for our Sports Group and the entire Company is to wind down NBCSN completely, with key elements of NBCSN’s programming moving to USA Network and, in some cases, Peacock for 2022 and beyond,” NBC Sports Chairman Pete Bevacqua wrote in an internal memo. “This will make USA Network an extraordinarily powerful platform in the media marketplace, and gives our sports programming a significant audience boost.”
NASCAR events will join the NHL on the USA Network. The English Premier League, which was streamed several times on Peacock, hasn’t had its future determined for US television.
NBC has carried the NHL games for 15 years, but its TV pact will expire after this season.
Golf Channel and the Olympic Channel will not be affected by the NBCSN shutdown, Sports Business Daily reported.
Comcast launched NBCSN in 1995 as the Outdoor Life Network. It carried cycling’s Tour de France as its biggest property. In 2006, the NHL came on board, and the channel changed its name to Versus.
When Comcast bought NBC in 2011, the name changed again to NBC Sports Network. The channel currently is in 80.6 million homes.