NBC To Shutdown Sports Network By Year’s End

It’s being reported that the sports programs on NBCSN will eventually be aired on other platforms under the NBC umbrella such as USA Network and the new and ever-growing Peacock streaming service.

The company stated that it’s aware of how quickly the media and viewer landscape is evolving, and they wanted to take the thoughtful and proper steps to stay ahead of the curve and trends whenever possible. And in many instances help set them as well.

NBCUniversal is one of many companies that have had to cut costs and make adjustments due to the devastating revenue impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Peacock was launched in July 2020 amidst the pandemic and already has some sports content, including the right to host Premier League Soccer content for the 2021-22 season.

The company’s USA Network (An Oldie But Goodie) cable channel has secured the rights to host the NHL Stanley Cup playoff games and NASCAR races. The network’s top sports priorities include the aforementioned NASCAR racing, NHL contests, and English Premier League football matches.

USA won’t become an all-sports network, but instead, function like WarnerMedia’s TNT, which has built a durable franchise out of its rights to air NBA games. The basketball focus has done wonders for a once-struggling media company.

The USA has always had a bit of a sports lineage. In the early days of the network as various right deals at times with Major League Baseball (MLB), the NHL, and the NBA. At one point in time, it’s evening schedule was often dominated by sports programs.

The network has been a top-five cable entertainment brand for over twenty years by constantly broadening its viewer slate and finding ways to keep viewers interested, with immersive storytelling and unique, but iconic personalities.

This decision to shutdown the network could, over time affect NBCU’s portfolio of rights. With the NHL deal slated to end after the 2021 season, ESPN has tried to make inroads by broadcasting some games on ESPN Plus, it’s streaming video-outlet.

The power brokers at NBCUniversal believe this will give them an extraordinarily powerful platform in today’s media marketplace while giving their sports programming a significant audience boost.