The company said that NBCUniversal is shutting down its sports cable channel NBCSN at the end of the year and giving most of its programming to its sister general entertainment network USA.
Premium properties on NBCSN are the National Hockey League and Nascar Auto Racing, both of which will begin transitioning to the USA Network this year. Some content will remain on both channels until officially NBCSN lights off. NBCUniversal informed employees of the plan in a company memo Friday afternoon.
NBC Sports Group stated, “We as a company are fully committed to sports, and a large platform like USA Network broadcasting some of our key sports content is great for our partners, distributors, viewers and advertisers . ” Chairman Pete Bevacqua.
By putting high-profile sports on the USA Network, NBCUniversal — a unit of Comcast Corporation — hopes to solve two problems with one move: get rid of a weak asset and boost an already powerful one. The Premier Soccer League will also match on USA.
NBCSN has struggled to compete against big rivals such as ESPN of the Walt Disney Company and Fox Sports Cable Network of Fox Corporation. While it has a large national reach, it has a lower rating than its competition. Fox Corp and the Wall Street Journal parent News Corp are jointly owned.