Stamford-based NBC Sports to close NBCSN on December 31


STAMFORD – NBC Sports Group, one of the largest Connecticut-based media companies, confirmed Tuesday that it will shut down its NBCSN cable channel on December 31 and transfer much of its programming to the USA Network cable, which is a other division of the parent company. NBCUniversal.

USA Network will expand its programming with the addition of “premium NBC sporting events” including coverage of English Premier League football, NASCAR, INDYCAR, the Olympics, USGA and R&A golf championships, college sports and Olympics, horse racing and cycling, NBC athletic officials said in a press release about the changes. CNBC, the Peacock streaming service and “other linear platforms will also host a wide variety of live sports,” according to NBC Sports officials.

On January 1, USA Network will kick off its new lineup with a triple Premier League title, led by a match between defending champions Manchester City and visiting Arsenal.

“We are excited to move cable coverage of many of our premium sporting events to USA Network, Peacock and other widely distributed NBCUniversal platforms, which will give us a significant boost in TV homes and put us in an even stronger position as we grow. our business, ”NBC Sports President Pete Bevacqua said in a statement.

Starting January 1, NBCSN will display a “slate” to notify viewers of tuning information. NBC Sports said it will also conduct “extensive marketing and social media campaigns as well as content on TV shows to alert viewers to the situation.” Additionally, he said that NBC Sports partners “will let their fans know about the change. The exact schedule for dismantling the network may vary depending on the distributors.

USA Network is well established as a sports carrier. During last summer’s Tokyo Olympics, it broadcast live in track and field, men’s and women’s beach volleyball, indoor volleyball and softball. It is the number one prime-time sports and entertainment cable network, averaging 1.6 million viewers, according to data provided by NBC Sports.

“The United States has always been home to great, iconic characters – in reality shows like ‘Chrisley Knows Best’, high-end scripted dramas like ‘Chucky’ and ‘The Sinner’, and of course the energy at High octane number of our WWE personalities – and more Top quality professional athletes will fit in perfectly, ”said Frances Berwick, president of Entertainment Networks, NBCUniversal Television & Streaming, in a statement. “We expect that this expansion of our live sports offering will engage both existing fans and attract new communities to the United States, thus strengthening the network as a premier destination for the best and greatest entertainment. wider in all its many forms. “

The end of NBCSN will not affect NBC Sports’ most watched show, “Sunday Night Football,” which airs on the NBC and Peacock Broadcasting Channel. SNF finished as 1st prime-time program for a record 10th consecutive year, attracting an average audience of around 17 million people during the 2020 NFL regular season.

NBC Sports’ decision to terminate NBCSN was originally disclosed in a memo sent Jan. 29 by Bevacqua. He described the changes “as part of a larger transition” within the organization.

Founded in 1995 as the Outdoor Life Network – and later renamed Versus, before taking its current name – NBCSN has become known for its NASCAR, NHL and Premier League coverage, as well as its Olympic Games television broadcasts. Available in tens of millions of homes, it has consistently ranked second most-watched cable sports channels, after ESPN.

The closure of NBCSN will not result in any local job cuts, city officials say.

NBC Sports is headquartered at 1 Blachley Road, a few yards from Exit 9 of Interstate 95. It employs more than 900 people in Stamford, according to data shared earlier this year by the company.

[email protected]; twitter: @paulschott

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