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NBC Retains Olympic rights through 2020


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As for 2018 though, how is PC any worse than Munich or Annecy. NBC will have a chance for plenty of coverage in primetime and if they can manipulate the schedle like they did the last time the Olympics are in Korea, even better for them. I have to think NBC is thrilled not to see consecutive Euro Olympics.

Yes, in many ways, PyeongChang is better for NBC than Munich or Annecy would have been. With a European Olympics, there is no possibility of live coverage in primetime. With PC, however, primetime in the Eastern time zone (8pm-midnight) is 10am-2pm the next day in Korea. This will give NBC the opportunity to air almost every alpine and snowboarding event live in primetime, as those events traditionally start in the late morning anyway. NBC won't even have to manipulate the schedule. The bigger challenge will be what to do with the skating events, as I'm sure that Koreans will want figure skating and especially speed skating in their primetime. With regard to figure skating, Koreans really only care about the ladies event, so NBC might be able to get some of the other disciplines to start at 10 or 11am in Korea. The big risk, of course, is if the alpine or snowboarding events get postponed due to weather, then NBC doesn't have much to show (this happened to CBS in Nagano, which resulted in hours of coverage of ladies' figure skating practice).

On the whole, though, I have to think NBC is happy with PC. At least 50% of events should be able to be shown live in the primetime or late night (12:35-2:05am Eastern, 2:35-4:05pm in Korea) windows.

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Versus set to become the NBC Sports Network

Sports Television

By Michael McCarthy

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."

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Versus set to become the NBC Sports Network

Sports Television

By Michael McCarthy

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."

Was wondering when we'd get this announcement. So much for that 90-day window they had originally told us about. "NBC Sports Network" doesn't seem like the most creative name they could have come up with though, although I'll be interested to see the re-branding. 2012 is setting up to be a big year for NBC with the Super Bowl, the Olympics, and now all of this with the network soon to be formerly known as Versus.

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The name change and rebranding was pushed back to take advantage high profile events take place at the beginning of the year.

The date of the Versus rebranding in January 2012 coincides with NBC's broadcast of NFL wild-card playoff games, the NHL's Winter Classic and the Super Bowl - all games televised by NBC and with big audiences, allowing maximum exposure for on-air promotions to the new name.

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/126495098.html

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I wonder if OLN Vs NBC Sports Network is ever going to settle on a target audience.

How much overlap is there between Bull Riding and Tour de France fans?

They also have hockey, college football, college basketball, and auto racing among some other properties. Oh yea, and they're gonna have this thing called the Olympics next summer. Their profile will start to get better as they go after bigger events. Probably won't touch ESPN levels for a while, but I think we'll start to see them find their place in the world now that they have a new parent company in place.

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Olympic sports wise though isn't Universal Sports their main cable outlet?

Yes, for Olympic Sports, but during Vancouver they just aired discussion, news and analyst shows (which I really enjoyed, especially "Morning Buzz" and "Meet the Olympic Press"). However, I think it was Quaker who said that because it's not 100 percent owned by NBC, they can't air any actual competition during the games. However, they play replays from Beijing and have also showed Vancouver replays so.....

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Yes, for Olympic Sports, but during Vancouver they just aired discussion, news and analyst shows (which I really enjoyed, especially "Morning Buzz" and "Meet the Olympic Press"). However, I think it was Quaker who said that because it's not 100 percent owned by NBC, they can't air any actual competition during the games. However, they play replays from Beijing and have also showed Vancouver replays so.....

I would think that the renamed network would go after some of the Olympic Sports.

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Yes, for Olympic Sports, but during Vancouver they just aired discussion, news and analyst shows (which I really enjoyed, especially "Morning Buzz" and "Meet the Olympic Press"). However, I think it was Quaker who said that because it's not 100 percent owned by NBC, they can't air any actual competition during the games. However, they play replays from Beijing and have also showed Vancouver replays so.....

When I saw the previous post, I was thinking the same thing.. it wasn't me who said that about Universal Sports. I don't know if that's the reason, but I believe it was more the issue of lack of distribution. Universal Sports is only available in 60-something million homes. USA, CNBC, and MSNBC are all well over 90 million.

It'll be interesting to see what they do with NBC Sports Network. Their distribution numbers are still in the 70 million range, so it's a question of how you balance putting events on a network you're trying to build up versus (pun totally intended) having events on a network not everyone gets. By contrast, Golf Channel is over the 80 million mark, so does NBComcast start to package all these channels together. Either way, expect the Olympics on NBC and NBC Sports Network to use each other for their mutual benefit.

I would think that the renamed network would go after some of the Olympic Sports.

Go after what though? More track & field or swimming? I don't know if it was part of a pre-existing deal, but Universal Sports had everything from Shanghai and the FINA Worlds. Supposedly they also have the IAAF Worlds from Daegu after Versus aired it from Berlin in 2009. I can't see NBCSN (I don't think we'll ever get used to that) going after female-oriented sports like figure skating and gymnastics, so what does that leave? It seems like it would make some sense to merge Universal Sports' programming into NBC Sports Network, but I don't think that's going to happen.

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I can't see NBCSN (I don't think we'll ever get used to that)...

Well, it's no different than CBS Sports Network.

It seems like it would make some sense to merge Universal Sports' programming into NBC Sports Network, but I don't think that's going to happen.

I personally don't want that to happen. I like a network committed entirely to Olympic Sports, without the clutter of NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, or even MLS stuff (who airs MLS anyway, ESPN?). When I found out Universal Sports existed, I was happy! I also like that UniSports is available free over the air. If they merged Universal Sports into NBC Sports Network, then that might not be the case anymore. Also, if they did merge the programming, I'm afraid Olympic Sports would take a total backseat to the pro-sports, and I wouldn't be happy with that.

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I personally don't want that to happen. I like a network committed entirely to Olympic Sports, without the clutter of NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, or even MLS stuff (who airs MLS anyway, ESPN?). When I found out Universal Sports existed, I was happy! I also like that UniSports is available free over the air. If they merged Universal Sports into NBC Sports Network, then that might not be the case anymore. Also, if they did merge the programming, I'm afraid Olympic Sports would take a total backseat to the pro-sports, and I wouldn't be happy with that.

I'm with you. I really enjoy Universal Sports (though I haven't enjoyed the endless Ironman and Ocean Paddler re-runs). I like the idea of keeping the Olympic sports separate as well.

BTW. You are totally correct about OWG and OSG, but the bad habit is so ingrained! I'm not talking about SOGs and WOGs to spite you. Maybe it's because SOG is actually pronounceable, whereas OSG isn't. I don't know. Anyway, of course you're right. Forgive our bad habits.

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BTW. You are totally correct about OWG and OSG, but the bad habit is so ingrained! I'm not talking about SOGs and WOGs to spite you. Maybe it's because SOG is actually pronounceable, whereas OSG isn't. I don't know. Anyway, of course you're right. Forgive our bad habits.

Well, it's OWG for winter because that's their official name, "The XIX Olympic Winter Games" for example. The official name for the summer games are "The Games of the XXX Olympiad", so that's why I only mentioned OWG. My other pet peeve is when people call the Winter Games an "Olympiad". They are NOT. An Olympiad is the four year interval between summer games *only*, and they occur whether the games are actually held or not (1916, 1940, 1944). There's no such thing as a "Winter Olympiad". Each Winter Games falls in the middle of an Olympiad, so Vancouver fell in the middle of the XXIX Olympiad.

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I personally don't want that to happen. I like a network committed entirely to Olympic Sports, without the clutter of NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, or even MLS stuff (who airs MLS anyway, ESPN?). When I found out Universal Sports existed, I was happy! I also like that UniSports is available free over the air. If they merged Universal Sports into NBC Sports Network, then that might not be the case anymore. Also, if they did merge the programming, I'm afraid Olympic Sports would take a total backseat to the pro-sports, and I wouldn't be happy with that.

Unfortunately, we're a nice audience that's into these types of sports. It just seems excessive for a company like Comcast/NBCU to have 2 completely distinct sports channels (and that's not even counting Golf Channel) which barely seems to have enough programming to fill out the day. Obviously with Universal Sports, there's good and bad in being available over the air (the bad being that they're forced to air infomercials during certain parts of the day.. that's gonna rear its ugly head again for the IAAF World Championships coming up), but I just wonder if there isn't a way to make things work better between NBC Sports Network and Universal Sports, but while at least most people are aware of the former, I bet you a lot don't even know the latter exists, let alone what programming they have. I know the timezones are a problem, but if they're airing an even like the FINA World Championships on delay when you have a perfectly capable cable channel in Versus to air them and reach a broader audience, they need to do a better job of promoting these things.

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I personally don't want that to happen. I like a network committed entirely to Olympic Sports, without the clutter of NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, or even MLS stuff (who airs MLS anyway, ESPN?).

To be pickey, ice hockey is an olympic sport, as are soccer and basketball. Baseball used to be. MLS has a few games on ESPN2 and on Fox Soccer.They also have a season package on Dish.
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To be pickey, ice hockey is an olympic sport, as are soccer and basketball. Baseball used to be. MLS has a few games on ESPN2 and on Fox Soccer.They also have a season package on Dish.

Except that you're not being picky *enough* (if you want to be that way). Universal Sports HAS shown ice hockey and basketball and soccer and even softball *when they are Olympic Games replays* But the NBA, NHL, and MLS are NOT considered Olympic, and don't belong on an Olympic sports network. Those are professional teams whereas when the sports have happened to be shown on Universal Sports they were national Olympic teams. Big difference.

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Unfortunately, we're a nice audience that's into these types of sports. It just seems excessive for a company like Comcast/NBCU to have 2 completely distinct sports channels (and that's not even counting Golf Channel) which barely seems to have enough programming to fill out the day. Obviously with Universal Sports, there's good and bad in being available over the air (the bad being that they're forced to air infomercials during certain parts of the day.. that's gonna rear its ugly head again for the IAAF World Championships coming up), but I just wonder if there isn't a way to make things work better between NBC Sports Network and Universal Sports, but while at least most people are aware of the former, I bet you a lot don't even know the latter exists, let alone what programming they have. I know the timezones are a problem, but if they're airing an even like the FINA World Championships on delay when you have a perfectly capable cable channel in Versus to air them and reach a broader audience, they need to do a better job of promoting these things.

FINA Worlds wasn't on Versus because Universal Sports has the rights deal with FINA, *that's why*, and they had that deal before Comcrap ever came into the picture. In fact, UniSports has the rights deals wrapped up with most of the IGB's of Olympic Sports, and even some NGB's in the USA, particularly USA Swimming (US Nationals start tonight and all week on UniSports, with NBC airing a package show on Saturday and Sunday).

Golf Channel: Stupid channel that has no reason for existence. Dumb. Just like "The Tennis Channel", and the most ludicrous channel of all "ESPN - Classic". The things executives come up with to fill a 500 channel 24/7 cable universe is ridiculous (24/7 is another reason all the news channels are such garbage)!

People are familiar with NBC Sports. Nobody knows the 24/7 cable channel - yet, but they will come January. Universal Sports is going to continue to grow. It's on DirecTV now, in addition to the cable systems it's already been on and being available over the air. NBC also promotes it during NBC sports telecasts. Putting it over the air on a digital sub-channel on all NBC O&O's was a smart move to get it out there without having to wait for lengthy carriage contract negotiations to go through. Look how long it took to get it on DirecTV! I don't get the infomericals on NBC O&O's, though. I don't see why they need to do that with their own stations. Affiliates I could understand. Affiliates are a pain in the ass (although they were right about that asswipe Jay Leno at 10pm :rolleyes: ) The problem they really can't avoid by broadcasting over the air is the E/I programming requirement, that they usually broadcast on Tuesday mornings.

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But the NBA, NHL, and MLS are NOT considered Olympic,
That's a distinction you are making. Basketball, Soccer and Hockey are played in the Olympics. Same athletes playing (essentially) the same game. Average fan could care less about the governing body.

Side note - an "Olympic Channel" can now start showing Golf and Rugby. Cool!

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That's a distinction you are making. Basketball, Soccer and Hockey are played in the Olympics. Same athletes playing (essentially) the same game. Average fan could care less about the governing body.

Dude, that's not a distinction I'm just making, it's the truth. Professional sports leagues like that have no place on an Olympic Sports channel, and Universal Sports won't show them. Universal Sports will show NATIONAL teams, not professional league teams.

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That's a distinction you are making. Basketball, Soccer and Hockey are played in the Olympics. Same athletes playing (essentially) the same game. Average fan could care less about the governing body.

Side note - an "Olympic Channel" can now start showing Golf and Rugby. Cool!

That's a distinction EVERYONE makes. Basketball and soccer and hockey may be played in the Olympics, but no one in this country associates the NBA or the NHL or MLS with the Olympics, even if players from each (especially the first 2) compete in the Olympics. The term "Olympic Sports" is mostly a colloquialism that refers to sports in the Olympics that aren't featured elsewhere.. track & field, swimming, gymnastics, figure skating, alpine skiing, etc. When we hear about college sports TV deals and they mention "Olympic Sports," they don't literally mean all sports contested in the Olympics, it's referring to sports that aren't mainstream like baseball and basketball.

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FINA Worlds wasn't on Versus because Universal Sports has the rights deal with FINA, *that's why*, and they had that deal before Comcrap ever came into the picture. In fact, UniSports has the rights deals wrapped up with most of the IGB's of Olympic Sports, and even some NGB's in the USA, particularly USA Swimming (US Nationals start tonight and all week on UniSports, with NBC airing a package show on Saturday and Sunday).

Fair point, but then what about the IAAF Worlds? Those were on Versus last time and now they're on Universal Sports. Sorry, but that's a downgrade. I get that the time zone comes into play, but the problem with UniSports that we saw this past week is that A) they have programming issues because of the affiliate agreements and other obligations that cause them to show all of their coverage from Shanghai on delays and the same thing is going to be the case from Daegu and B) their priorities are as much to their web coverage as it is to television coverage. Their theory is that you can watch it for free over the air or you can pay for the privilege of watching it live online. And that's not even Comcast's influence, that's simply how they choose to do business. The World Championships in swimming and track & field deserve better and now that NBC has a 24/7 cable sports network at their disposal, even if it's not Olympic sport-focused like Universal is, that's something they need to look into next time around.

Golf Channel: Stupid channel that has no reason for existence. Dumb. Just like "The Tennis Channel", and the most ludicrous channel of all "ESPN - Classic". The things executives come up with to fill a 500 channel 24/7 cable universe is ridiculous (24/7 is another reason all the news channels are such garbage)!

Ugh, I HATE when people make statements like this. So because YOU don't like golf and don't watch that channel, it has no reason for existence? Come on, that's like baron saying they shouldn't have track & field in the Olympics because it doesn't appeal to him. Golf Channel pre-dates any of the other league-owned networks and really pre-dates the 500 channel digital cable universe. It's available in well over 80 million homes (more than any cable sports networks other than ESPN and ESPN2, and that includes Versus and Universal Sports) and is considered 1 of the better sport-specific channels. ESPN Classic at this point is pointless, I'll buy that. But to say Golf Channel has no reason for existence is ludicrous because there are a lot more people that are aware of and watch Golf Channel than we'll ever have for Universal Sports.

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Fair point, but then what about the IAAF Worlds? Those were on Versus last time and now they're on Universal Sports. Sorry, but that's a downgrade. I get that the time zone comes into play, but the problem with UniSports that we saw this past week is that A) they have programming issues because of the affiliate agreements and other obligations that cause them to show all of their coverage from Shanghai on delays and the same thing is going to be the case from Daegu and B) their priorities are as much to their web coverage as it is to television coverage. Their theory is that you can watch it for free over the air or you can pay for the privilege of watching it live online. And that's not even Comcast's influence, that's simply how they choose to do business. The World Championships in swimming and track & field deserve better and now that NBC has a 24/7 cable sports network at their disposal, even if it's not Olympic sport-focused like Universal is, that's something they need to look into next time around.

UniSports showed the World Champs finals on a delay because otherwise they would have been on a 6:00 AM!!!!! DUH! They saved it for prime time when people would be up and have the time to watch, just like NBC does with the Olympic Games! Hello???

Oh and not showing on Versus a downgrade? Umm, it was a channel with a stupid name and low brand recognition that nobody watched either. Six of one, half a dozen of the other. Even Ebersol said it was stupid name. At least UniSports has been building an identity for itself as the place to go to for Olympic Sports.

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UniSports showed the World Champs finals on a delay because otherwise they would have been on a 6:00 AM!!!!! DUH! They saved it for prime time when people would be up and have the time to watch, just like NBC does with the Olympic Games! Hello???

Oh and not showing on Versus a downgrade? Umm, it was a channel with a stupid name and low brand recognition that nobody watched either. Six of one, half a dozen of the other. Even Ebersol said it was stupid name. At least UniSports has been building an identity for itself as the place to go to for Olympic Sports.

This may be a hypocritical argument for me to bring up as someone who has defending NBC's tape delay strategy for years (and still does), but I don't buy that. This isn't an event where you're trying to drive advertising dollars because of a massive investment in rights fees. It's not the Olympics where there are 300 events going on and you're picking and choosing what's in primetime while there's still coverage going on elsewhere. Universal Sports each day showed their taped show at 8pm, then repeated it throughout the next day. That means that on, say, a Wednesday afternoon, they were showing finals from Monday night! Why not show coverage live at 6am (well, we know the answer to that), and then repeat it throughout the day and make a big primetime show maybe including some interviews and studio segments that weren't on the live coverage. That's what Versus does with the Tour de France and I think it's a pretty sensible formula. If you're going to repeat something throughout the day, it should be the most recent competition that's occurred. What's the point of waiting until primetime? Again, this isn't NBC and billions of dollars in rights fees, especially where there are other events going on.

As for Versus, stupid name or not, it has MUCH more brand name recognition than Universal Sports does. I don't consider them equals. In all the talk about what's going on with the NBComcast merger, are you hearing anything about Universal Sports? Not really. All the talk is about what's happening to Versus, and unless you part of the sub-niche of Olympic sports fans, chances are you're much more aware of Versus than you are of Universal Sports. This is the World freakin Championships. If they're big enough to hit NBC on the weekend, they deserve better than to be tape delayed by 14 HOURS (unless you want to pay for an online feed) because Universal Sports doesn't have the ability to show live events at 6am.

Oh yea, and beyond all that.. Versus - available in high definition. Universal Sports - not available in high definition. I know that may not matter to you, but to me, in 2011 it's unacceptable for an event of this magnitude to be available only in SD, especially when I saw images from Shanghai on ESPN in HD. I respect Universal SPorts as the go-to destination for Olympic sports, but this isn't the way to endear your viewers and give off the impression this is a big event. Again, I know it sounds hypocritical to make this argument while asking for it to be different for the Olympics, but I stand by it and this it's an insult what Universal Sports is doing here.

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