Comcast subsidiary NBC has announced plans to terminate service of the NBCSN sports cable network by the end of 2021
The move if most likely a result of Comcast’s aim to enhance its new streaming service Peacock, which launched in 2020. Peacock and the USA network (also owned by NBC) are the likely destinations for many of NBC’s live sports (including the NHL and EPL).
Variety reported on Friday that NBC has already begun telling sports partners (Olympics, NHL, EPL, NASCAR and Tour de France) and distributors about the move.
NBC currently has a broadcast rights deal for the NHL which expires at the end of the current season and will need to be renegotiated. NBC has informed the NHL that it will broadcast hockey games on its broadcast channel (USA Network) and Peacock, according to Sports Business Journal.
“USA has been a top five cable entertainment brand for over twenty years by way of constantly broadening our slate and finding ways to excite our viewers through immersive storytelling and iconic personalities … We remain committed to original entertainment programming, and believe that high-profile live sports will complement USA’s broad premium scripted, unscripted and WWE slate, enabling us to engage our passionate, intersecting audiences more deeply and with greater urgency.”
– Frances Berwick, chairman, of NBCU’s entertainment networks
The bottom line for fans – they will have to follow the big franchises like the NHL and Premier League to their new home.