No, I haven’t disappeared or abandoned this space. I’m simply on vacation. Regular postings will be the norm soon.
Since, I have some free time I do want to write my thoughts about some news that’s come out about Versus and the upcoming NBC Sports Network. As I’m sure most know by now, NBC is replacing Fox Soccer Channel’s MLS broadcasts next season. This is a small but nice gain for NBC. It could pave the way for NBC to make a bid for the World Cup. NBC has Telemundo in it’s stable which would help any bid. NBCSN needs more content and the MLS delivers on that.
Variety has mentioned that NBC plans to feature several new programs on Versus in the near future including a sports business show featuring Darren Rovell and a Mike Florio helmed football program to complement the previously announced Turning Point. It’s good that NBC is using their deep bench to upgrade Versus and hopefully this will lead to more original programming.
The expected 6PM daily news show will be interesting to see how it develops. The plans sound similar to the old Fox Sports News as NBC will use its CSN networks to bring stories and content to the program. FSN struggled with that especially as programming costs ballooned. FSN was always a good show but never got off the ground nationally and couldn’t compete with SportsCenter. It’s hard to see how NBC will be more successful in this at least until there’s better lead in programming.
One key to helping promote the show is the possibility of NFL games on NBCSN. Even if it’s only for eight weeks, it would be a powerful promotional platform. Another possible get is the Big East college rights. While NBC lost out in gaining the Indy 500, NASCAR’s going to be up for bidding next year. More programming is the key to growing NBCSN. There are some worries that the NHL may get lost in this as NBC adds sports. I dont see that happening anytime soon. I see the league reaping the benefits of being on a better programmed network. That should be a boost for ratings and help NBCSN gain better cable carriage. It will be an interesting next couple of years as NBC gets aggressive in courting more sports.