NBC to shut down NBC Sports Network at end of year
The channel known as Outdoor Life Network, Versus and the NBC Sports Network will shut off by the end of 2021.
According to the Associated Press, NBC Sports Chairman Pete Bevacqua announced the channel’s shutdown on Friday in an internal memo to staff.
“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,” Bevacqua said in the memo.
Comcast launched the Outdoor Life Network in 1995. The network’s biggest property was the Tour de France until NHL rights were acquired in 2005. In 2006, the network’s name was changed to Versus. In 2011, after Comcast bought NBC Universal, the name was again changed to the NBC Sports Network.
Some moves will be made before the year’s end. Stanley Cup playoff games and NASCAR races will be moved to the USA Network this year. USA, which has already aired early-round Stanley Cup playoff games, is available in 85.6 million homes while NBCSN is available in 80.1 million homes, behind competitors ESPN (83.1 million) and FS1 (80.2 million).
While NASCAR’s deal with NBC runs through 2024, it’s noted that two of the network’s larger deals, with the NHL and English Premier League, expire at the end of the year.