08-01-2011, 10:22 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
| | Versus set to become the NBC Sports Network
Link to full article: Versus set to become the NBC Sports Network - USATODAY.com
So much for the Versus name in TV sports. Comcast's NBC Sports Group will announce Monday that it's jettisoning the Versus moniker and changing the name of the cable channel to NBC Sports Network. The makeover, including a new peacock logo, takes effect Jan. 2. |
"This is more than just a name change for Versus," NBC Sports Group boss Mark Lazarus said in a statement. "It's a complete repositioning of the brand."
The national sports channel did a nice job on the NHL. But some hockey viewers complain, rightly or wrongly, they have trouble finding it on their cable box. Plus, Versus never developed into the legitimate, national rival to ESPN that many sports viewers had hoped.
The move was expected. Versus no longer has its own website.
Sports fans are far more familiar with NBC Sports, which televises everything from Super Bowls to Olympics. The move also allows NBC/Comcast (which recently beat back competing bids from ESPN and Fox Sports to retain Olympic rights through 2020) to put almost all of its Olympic coverage under the peacock logo.
Since completing its takeover of NBC Universal, Comcast has been making its family of broadcast, cable and regional sports networks play nice together. That's why viewers are seeing NBC Sports talent such as Johnny Miller popping up on sister network the Golf Channel and Versus showing Notre Dame and Triple Crown horse racing that used to air on NBC.
Versus initially launched as the Outdoor Life Network (OLN) in 1995.
OLN had its high points. Remember its in-depth coverage of Lance Armstrong in the Tour de France? OLN was renamed Versus in 2006, and the channel since has grown to roughly 70 million homes compared with more than 100 million for ESPN and ESPN2.
I wonder how this factors into any potential negotiations with Zuffa?