Sports fans may need to adapt their viewing habits as a beloved channel may be shut down in less than a year.
According to John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal, NBC informed distributors and the necessary sports leagues that they plan the shut down NBC Sports Network, abbreviated NBCSN, by the end of 2021. Some of the major players were reportedly told of the change earlier this week.
The move would mark a significant shift to the broadcasts of NHL, NASCAR and English Premier League events. The three properties plan to move to a new home on USA Network per Ourand. Other small events will need to find new ways to get their events broadcast without the assistance of NBC. The network anticipates no changes to some of it’s other major sports channels, such as Golf Channel and the Olympic Channel.
The disbanding of NBCSN also comes likely in part due to the network’s desire to grow it’s original streaming service, Peacock. The platform launched in July of this year and gained over 20 million subscribers in just three months. If live sports were eventually added to the mix, Peacock should be able to compete with any one of the other major streaming services.
NBC has told distributors and some sports leagues that it plans to shut down its NBCSN sports channel by the end of the year. Story coming in SBD
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) January 22, 2021
The decision to cut NBCSN won’t be the only major dilemma facing NBC in 2021. The network’s contract with the NHL concludes at the end of this year, meaning that another deal will have to be struck soon. If not, NBC risks losing it’s nearly exclusive grasp on the nation’s most lucrative professional hockey league.
Thankfully, it looks like sports fans should still be able to get hockey and other key events for the time being. Potentially bigger NBC changes could be coming down the pipe in 2022, but for now, watch on.