The NBC Sports Network will be no more by the end of the year. This past weekend, NBCUniversal announced the network would shut down at the end of 2021. The majority of the programming will move to USA Network and Peacock, its new streaming service.
"We're all aware of how quickly the media landscape is evolving, and our Company is taking thoughtful steps to stay ahead of these trends wherever possible and, in many instances, help set them," NBC Sports Group Chairman Pete Bevacqua said in an email to the company, as reported by the NBC News. Bevacqua went on to say he will host a virtual meeting on Tuesday to answer questions concerning the news.
NBC Sports Network airs NHL Stanley Cup playoff games and NASCAR races. Once the network shuts down, those sports will move to the USA Network. "This will make USA Network an extraordinarily powerful platform in the media marketplace and gives our sports programming a significant audience boost," Bevacqua said. Other shows will likely end up on Peacock, which launched in July 2020. The streaming service hosts much of NBC Sports Premier League soccer content.
Along with shutting down NBCSN, NBCU is adding the WWE Network. The streaming service has been on its own for nearly seven years and will stream on Peacock in March. WWE Network will land on Peacock one month before WrestleMania 37.
"WWE has always tapped into the cultural zeitgeist with spectacular live events and larger-than-life characters, and we are thrilled to be the exclusive home for WWE Network and its millions of fans across the country, "Peacock executive vice president and chief revenue officer Rick Cordella said. "WWE Network is a transformative addition to the platform and complements Peacock's massive catalog of iconic movies and shows, as well as the best live news and sports, from NBCUniversal and beyond."
NBCSN originally launched in 1995 as the Outdoor Life Network. At the start of the 21st century, the network became the Tour de France's home but started covering more "mainstream sports" when it was relaunched as Versus in 2006. The network owner, Comcast, acquired a majority stake in NBCU, which led to Versus being rebranded as NBC Sports Network in 2012. It was then renamed to NBCSN in 2014.