NHL games, NASCAR races and other programming will now air on USA network and Peacock.
NBC Universal is pulling the plug on NBCSN, its cable sports network. The channel will shut down by the end of 2021, with its signature live sporting events airing instead on USA Network and Peacock, according to Sports Business Daily.
The move is in line with the current media trend of consolidating cable channels, while NBC appears to also be working on growing its Peacock streaming service and bolstering the programming schedule for other NBC properties like USA.
The National Hockey League’s television deal with NBC, which has carried its games for the past 15 years, is set to expire after this season. NBC has told the NHL that it would carve out regular windows on its broadcast channel and USA Network, which is in 86.2 million homes, plus Peacock.
Pete Bevacqua, NBC Sports Chairman wrote in an internal memo: “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, with key elements of NBCSN’s programming moving to USA Network and, in some cases, Peacock for 2022 and beyond. This will make USA Network an extraordinarily powerful platform in the media marketplace, and gives our sports programming a significant audience boost.”
NASCAR events will also move to USA, with the English Premier League’s TV future in the US still not determined. Peacock streamed several EPL games last year.
Golf Channel and the Olympic Channel will not be affected by the NBCSN shutdown.