NBC Sports is the programming division of the American broadcast network NBC, owned by the NBCUniversal Television Group division of NBCUniversal, that is responsible for sports broadcasts on the network, and its dedicated national sports cable channels. Formerly operating as "a service of NBC News", it broadcasts a diverse array of sports events, including the Olympic Games, the NFL, NASCAR, the NHL, Notre Dame football, the PGA Tour, the IndyCar Series, the French Open, the Premier League, and the Triple Crown, among others. Other programming from outside producers – such as coverage of the Ironman Triathlon – is also presented on the network through NBC Sports. With Comcast's acquisition of NBCUniversal, its own cable sports networks were aligned with NBC Sports into a part of the division known as the NBC Sports Group.
|Country of origin||United States|
|Owner||NBC Sports Group|
(NBCUniversal a subsidiary of Comcast)
|Key people||Mark Lazarus (chairman, NBC Sports Group)|
|Major broadcasting contracts||Olympic Games|
Notre Dame football
Tour de France
In 2000, NBC declined to renew its broadcast agreement with Major League Baseball. In 2002, it was additionally outbid by ESPN and ABC for the NBA's new broadcast contract, ending the league's twelve-year run on NBC.
During this era, NBC experimented with broadcasting emerging sports. In 2001, the network partnered with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) to establish the XFL – a new football league which introduced modified rules and debuted to tremendous, but short-lived fanfare, only lasting one season (NBC shared broadcast rights to the league's games, which were mainly held on Saturday nights, with UPN). In 2003, NBC obtained the broadcast rights and a minority interest in the Arena Football League. The network televised weekly games on a regional basis, as well as the entire playoffs. The deal lasted four years, after which the league and NBC parted ways.
Beginning with the 1999 Pennzoil 400, NBC began its foray into NASCAR. NBC, along with Fox, FX and TNT, obtained the broadcast rights of the top two series – the Winston Cup and Busch Series – in a six-year deal, beginning in 2001. NBC televised the second half of the season and alternated coverage of the Daytona 500 with Fox. In December 2005, NBC announced that it would not renew its agreement with NASCAR. In 2001, NBC obtained the broadcast rights to horse racing's Triple Crown in a five-year deal.
In 2004, NBC reached a broadcast agreement with the National Hockey League (NHL). The revenue-sharing deal called for the two sides to split advertising revenue after the network recouped the expenses. Games were supposed to begin airing on the network during the 2004–05 season, however a league lockout that resulted in the cancellation of that season delayed the start of the contract until the second half of the 2005–06 season. NBC televised regular season games at first on Saturday afternoons before moving the telecast to Sundays, Saturday and Sunday afternoon playoff games, and up to five games of the Stanley Cup Final. Additionally in 2008, NBC broadcast the first Winter Classic, an outdoor NHL game played on New Year's Day at Ralph Wilson Stadium, a success in attendance and television ratings. The following year's Winter Classic would become the most-watched regular season game in 34 years. In addition to this regular season success, Game 7 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Final was watched by an average of 8 million viewers, the highest ratings for an NHL game in 36 years.
The NFL also returned to NBC in 2006 after an eight-year hiatus, broadcasting the league's new flagship Sunday Night Football game, along with select postseason games and Super Bowls XLIII, XLVI, XLIX, LII and LVI.
In January 2011, Comcast finalized its acquisition of a majority share in NBC Universal. As a result of the merger, the operations of Comcast's existing sports networks, such as Golf Channel and Versus, were merged into an entity known as the NBC Sports Group. NBC Sports' senior vice president Mike McCarley additionally became Golf Channel's new head. NBC Sports' golf production unit was merged with Golf Channel, along with NBC's on-air staff, with that unit rebranding under the banner "Golf Channel on NBC", while Versus was reformatted toward a more mainstream audience, renamed the NBC Sports Network and eventually rebranded as NBCSN.
The merger also helped influence an extension of NBC Sports' contract with the NHL; the 10-year deal – valued at close to $2 billion, unified the cable and broadcast television rights to the league and introduced a new "Black Friday" Thanksgiving Showdown game on NBC, along with national coverage for every game in the Stanley Cup playoffs. On July 3, 2011, ESPN obtained the exclusive broadcast rights to Wimbledon in a 12-year deal, ending NBC's television relationship with The Championships after 42 years.
On August 10, 2011, NBC Sports also announced a new three-year broadcasting contract with Major League Soccer to produce games for the 2012 season on NBC and the NBC Sports Network. This included the broadcast of two regular season games, two playoff games, and two national team matches on NBC and 38 regular season games, three playoff games, and two national team matches on NBC Sports Network. On October 28, 2012, NBC Sports also announced a three-year, $250 million deal to televise Premier League soccer in English (primarily on NBCSN) and Spanish (on Telemundo and mun2) beginning with the 2013–14 season, replacing ESPN and Fox Soccer as the league's U.S. broadcasters.
On October 15, 2012, NBC Sports announced that it had acquired broadcast rights to the Formula One World Championship (formerly held by Speed and Fox Sports) in a four-year deal with the series. The majority of its coverage (including much of the season, along with qualifying and practice sessions) would air on NBCSN, while NBC would air the Monaco Grand Prix, Canadian Grand Prix and the final two races of the season, which include the United States Grand Prix. All races will also be streamed online and through the NBC Sports Live Extra mobile app. On October 4, 2017, it was announced that NBC Sports lost the broadcast rights to ESPN beginning with the 2018–2019 season.
On March 18, 2013, nearly all of the operations for NBC Sports and NBCSN began to be based out of a purpose-built facility in Stamford, Connecticut. The move was made mainly to take advantage of tax credits given by the state of Connecticut, which NBC has taken advantage of previously with the daytime talk shows of its sister broadcast syndication division. Only Football Night in America remained in New York City, at Studio 8G in Rockefeller Center, until September 7, 2014, when production of that program also moved to Stamford.
In July 2013, it was announced that NASCAR would return to NBC Sports properties in 2015 under a ten-year deal, with NBC once again airing the second half of the NASCAR Cup Series and Xfinity Series seasons. While no specific financial details were disclosed, NBC reportedly paid 50% more than ESPN and TNT (who took over the portion of the season previously held by NBC) combined under the previous deal.
On June 7, 2015, NBC Sports and The R&A agreed to a twelve-year deal to televise The Open Championship, Senior Open Championship, and Women's British Open on NBC and Golf Channel, beginning in 2017. The move came a year after NBC lost the rights to USGA tournaments to Fox Sports. The R&A's deal with ESPN had been through 2017, but the broadcaster opted out of the final year of their agreement.
Universal Sports Network ceased operations in November 2015. NBCUniversal acquired the rights to the content that was previously held by Universal Sports Network. Much of the programming moved to Universal HD, with the rest of the programming moving to NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.
On March 7, 2016, NBC Sports acquired rights to Premiership Rugby—the top division of English rugby union—initially under a three-year deal. The contract included up to 24 regularly-scheduled games on NBCSN per-season, and up to 50 streaming. Its first live match was on March 12, 2016, when London Irish hosted Saracens F.C. at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.
In June 2016, the group launched NBC Sports Gold, a subscription-based over-the-top streaming service. It debuted with a Cycling Pass, featuring several UCI road cycling races. In April 2017, a Track and Field Pass was launched, featuring IAAF and USA Track & Field meets, a Rugby Pass featuring the English Premiership, and a Pro Motocross Pass featuring the AMA Motocross Championship. A Premier League Pass was added in June 2017.
On March 21, 2018, it was announced that NBC Sports would renew its contract with the IndyCar Series (continuing a relationship with NBCSN which began in 2009 as Versus), through 2021, and acquire the broadcast television rights previously held by ABC. NBC will televise eight races per-season beginning in 2019, including the series flagship Indianapolis 500, with the remaining races airing on NBCSN as before. An IndyCar package will also be offered through NBC Sports Gold. The following month, NBC announced a six-year agreement with the IMSA beginning 2019, including the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, with the majority of coverage on NBCSN.
In 1964, NBC televised the Summer Olympics in Tokyo; in 1972, NBC televised the Winter Olympic Games for the first time. 1980 would prove to be a stinging disappointment for the network; after contentious negotiations, NBC won the broadcast rights to the Summer Games in Moscow. After the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, the United States and 64 other countries boycotted the event. NBC substantially scaled back its coverage and lost heavily in advertising revenue. In 1988, NBC televised the Summer Olympics in Seoul. Since then, it has branded itself as "America's Olympic Network", televising every Summer Olympic Games since the Seoul event, as well as every Winter Olympics since 2002. In total, NBC has aired 13 Summer and Winter Olympics, the most by any one U.S. network. The Olympic Games have also become an integral part of the network, despite some recurring controversy over its method of tape delaying events in part to take advantage of a wider national audience in prime time.
In 1998, Ebersol was named president of NBC Sports and Olympics.
During the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, over 500 hours of the games were broadcast across five NBC-owned television channels (NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, MSNBC and USA Network), with 1,000 hours being streamed digitally. In January, the company announced some exclusive digital-only streaming of the 2014 Olympics via the NBCOlympics.com website and the NBC Sports Live Extra app for Android and iOS, including exclusive content such as Gold Zone, Olympic Ice and NBC's Olympic News Desk.
With the premiere of Sunday Night Football, NBC hired Troika Design Group to design an overall visual identity for its coverage, including branding, on-air graphics, and other visual elements.
Concurrent with the relaunch of Versus as NBC Sports Network on January 2, 2012, and the 2012 NHL Winter Classic, NBC Sports also launched a comprehensive redesign of its branding, including a new on-air graphics design built around the NBC peacock, and an updated logo for the division as a whole (replacing a logo that had been in use since 1989). The new design was also intended to be modular, allowing it to be expanded for use in larger events across multiple networks (such as the Super Bowl and the Olympic Games). A refreshed design for on-air graphics was introduced on January 1, 2015 (in time for the 2015 NHL Winter Classic and NFL playoffs), with a cleaner and brighter visual appearance.
NBC debuted a new graphics package specifically for Sunday Night Football during Super Bowl LII. NBC producer Fred Gaudelli stated that the network wanted the Sunday night games to have a more distinctive presentation to set them apart from other games.
Alli Sports (legally Alli, Alliance of Action Sports, LLC) is an organizer of extreme sports events that is subsidiary of the NBC Sports Ventures LLC, a unit of NBC Sports Group. The group was formed in 2008 as a joint venture between NBC and MTV Networks, when the latter bought a stake in an extreme sports tour that NBC had been operating, the Dew Tour. While MTV parent Viacom has since sold its share in the venture, it still operates as a part of NBC.Comcast Network
The Comcast Network (TCN) was an American cable television network owned by the Comcast Corporation, through NBCUniversal; it was carried mostly on Comcast cable systems in four states and 20 television markets in the Eastern U.S. from New Jersey to Virginia. The main focus of the network was on the Philadelphia area, although the channel attempted to structure its programs as national shows. Key markets included New Jersey, the Pennsylvania cities of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, Baltimore, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Richmond, Virginia.
The Comcast Network was launched on December 1, 1996 as CN8. The CN8 brand was discontinued on January 6, 2009, as part of a larger restructuring of the network in order to respond to low ratings as well as closing down in the New England market, where its primary market was Boston.
On August 23, 2017, NBC Sports Regional Networks announced that the TCN branding would be dropped on October 2, 2017; TCN Philadelphia was rebranded as NBC Sports Philadelphia +, and TCN Mid-Atlantic was to be rebranded as NBC Sports Washington +. The rebranding was concurrent with the renaming of the Comcast SportsNet networks under the NBC Sports brand. It is not clear what network, if any replaced the channel in the Pittsburgh market.Dick Ebersol
Duncan "Dick" Ebersol (; born July 28, 1947) is an American television executive and a senior adviser for NBC Universal Sports & Olympics.He had previously been the chairman of NBC Sports, producing large-scale television events such as the Olympic Games and National Football League (NFL) broadcasts.Golf Channel
Golf Channel (also verbally referred to as simply Golf) is an American pay television network owned by the NBC Sports Group subsidiary of NBCUniversal division of Comcast. The channel focuses on coverage of the sport of golf, including live coverage of tournaments, as well as factual and instructional programming. It also houses the Golf Films franchise, a collection of independently produced biographical films that center around key figures and events in the history of golf.
Founded in Birmingham, Alabama, the channel's headquarters and studios are currently located in Orlando, Florida. Golf Channel is available in the United States, Canada, Latin America and Southeast Asia through subscription television providers.
As of February 2015, Golf Channel is available to approximately 79,250,000 pay television households (68.1% of households with television) in the United States.NBCSN
NBCSN is an American pay television channel that is owned by the NBC Sports Group division of NBCUniversal. It originally launched on July 1, 1995, as the Outdoor Life Network (OLN), which was dedicated to programming primarily involving fishing, hunting, outdoor adventure programs, and outdoor sports. By the turn of the 21st century, OLN became better known for its extensive coverage of the Tour de France but eventually began covering more "mainstream" sporting events, resulting in its relaunch as Versus in September 2006.
In 2011, Comcast, the original owner of the network, acquired a majority stake in NBC Universal. As a result, Comcast merged the operations of its pay channels with those of NBC. In particular, it aligned the operation of its sports channels with NBC's sports division, NBC Sports. On January 2, 2012, Versus was rebranded as the NBC Sports Network (on-air branding later shortened to NBCSN) to reflect these changes. As of September 15, 2014, the majority of NBC Sports' operations, including NBCSN, is based in facilities in Stamford, Connecticut.
As of February 2015, NBCSN is available to approximately 81,578,000 pay television households (70.1% of households with television) in the United States.NBC Sports Bay Area
NBC Sports Bay Area (sometimes abbreviated as NBCS Bay Area) is an American regional sports network that is owned as a joint venture between NBCUniversal and the San Francisco Giants, and operates as an affiliate of NBC Sports Group. Headquartered in San Francisco, the channel broadcasts regional coverage of professional sports events throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. NBCS Bay Area's sister channel is NBC Sports California. The president of the network is Ted Griggs.NBC Sports Boston
NBC Sports Boston is an American regional sports network that is owned by the NBC Sports Group unit of NBCUniversal, and operates as an affiliate of NBC Sports Regional Networks. Headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts, the channel broadcasts regional coverage of professional sports events throughout New England with a major focus on Boston area teams, as well as several original analysis, magazine and entertainment programs. It is available on cable providers throughout Massachusetts, eastern and central Connecticut, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island; it is also available nationwide on satellite via DirecTV.NBC Sports California
NBC Sports California (sometimes abbreviated as NBCS California) is an American regional sports network that is owned by the NBC Sports Group unit of NBCUniversal, and operates as an affiliate of NBC Sports Regional Networks. The channel broadcasts regional coverage of professional and college sports events throughout Northern California, as well as original sports-related news, discussion and entertainment programming.
NBC Sports California is available on cable and fiber optic television providers throughout northern California, and portions of Oregon and western Nevada. The network maintains main studios and offices headquartered with sister network NBC Sports Bay Area in San Francisco, California.NBC Sports Chicago
NBC Sports Chicago is an American regional sports network. The channel broadcasts regional coverage of professional sports teams in the Chicago metropolitan area, as well as college sports events and original sports-related news, discussion and entertainment programming.
NBC Sports Chicago is owned by the NBC Sports Group unit of NBCUniversal (which owns 20%, and is itself owned by Comcast, the primary cable provider in the Chicago market), the family of Chicago Cubs owner J. Joseph Ricketts (who own 20%), Chicago Bulls and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf (who owns a 40% majority interest), and Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz (who owns 20%).
The channel is available on cable and fiber optic television providers in most of Illinois, and throughout northern Indiana, Iowa, Kenosha County, Wisconsin and southwest Michigan and nationwide on satellite providers DirecTV and Dish Network. The network maintains main studios and offices located at 350 North Orleans Street, inside the River North Point Center in the Near North Side area.NBC Sports Gold
NBC Sports Gold is a subscription over-the-top service operated by NBC Sports providing expanded access to several sports' content. The pass for each sport is sold separately. NBC Sports Gold is available on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, and Roku.NBC Sports Group
NBC Sports Group is a division of NBCUniversal that is responsible for NBC Sports' media properties, encompassing the NBC television network's sports division as well as day-to-day operation of the company's sports-oriented cable networks and other properties such as NBC Sports Radio.NBC Sports Northwest
NBC Sports Northwest (originally Comcast SportsNet Northwest) is an American regional sports network that is owned by the NBC Sports Group unit of NBCUniversal, and operates as an affiliate of NBC Sports Regional Networks. The network broadcasts regional coverage of professional sports events throughout the Pacific Northwest, focusing primarily on the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers and college sports events involving the Oregon Ducks; the network also covers other sports events involving teams within the northwestern United States, including those featuring college and high school teams.The network is available on cable providers throughout Oregon and Washington. The network maintains business offices, master control operations and studio facilities located in Portland, Oregon; NBC Sports Northwest maintains a secondary studio in the Moda Center that is used for Trail Blazers game coverage.
Comcast rebranded CSN Northwest as NBC Sports Northwest on October 2, 2017.NBC Sports Philadelphia
NBC Sports Philadelphia is an American regional sports network owned by the NBC Sports Group unit of NBCUniversal, which in turn is owned by locally based cable television provider Comcast (and owns a controlling 75% interest), and the Philadelphia Phillies (which owns the remaining 25%). It is the flagship owned-and-operated outlet of NBC Sports Regional Networks. The channel broadcasts regional coverage of professional sports teams in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, as well as college sports events and original sports-related news, discussion and entertainment programming.
NBC Sports Philadelphia is available on cable and fiber optic television providers throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey and most of Delaware. The network maintains main studios and offices located inside the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia's South Philadelphia district; it also operates a small secondary studio inside Citizens Bank Park, which is used sporadically during Major League Baseball season.NBC Sports Radio
NBC Sports Radio is a sports radio network that debuted on September 4, 2012. The network content is produced by NBC Sports Group and distributed by Westwood One, which is the corporate successor to the remains of the original NBC Radio Network that was dissolved in the 1980s. NBC Sports Radio is available through over 300 affiliates throughout the United States as of September 2013, as well as through live streaming on NBCSportsRadio.com, NBCSports.com, WestwoodOneSports.com, and the affiliates' websites. Its launch made NBC the last major broadcast network with a sports radio network to complement its sports division. On January 1, 2019, NBC Sports Radio switched from a 24/7 full-time network feed to a service featuring sports newsfeeds and syndicated offerings.NBC Sports Regional Networks
NBC Sports Regional Networks is the collective name for a group of regional sports networks in the United States that are primarily owned and operated by the NBCUniversal division of the cable television company Comcast. The networks were originally established as Comcast SportsNet (CSN), a unit of Comcast's cable television business, beginning with a network in Philadelphia which launched in 1997. Their operations were aligned with the national NBC Sports division following the 2011 acquisition of NBC Universal by Comcast. NBC Sports Regional Networks' business and master control operations are based in New York City.
The group operates seven regional networks; Comcast also has a partial ownership interest in SportsNet New York, which is co-owned with Charter Communications and the New York Mets. Each of the networks carries regional broadcasts of sporting events from various professional, collegiate and high school sports teams (with broadcasts typically exclusive to each individual network, although some are shown on more than one network within a particular team's designated market area), along with regional and national sports discussion, documentary and analysis programs.
After their realignment with NBC Sports, the networks initially continued to operate primarily under the Comcast SportsNet name. Although Comcast originally considered dropping its name from the networks in favor of NBC Sports following the merger, they still operated under the CSN brand for at least more six years. The group's two networks in California were then re-branded under the NBC Sports brand in April 2017, while the remaining networks were renamed on October 2, 2017.NBC Sports Washington
NBC Sports Washington is an American regional sports network that is owned by NBCUniversal and Monumental Sports & Entertainment, and operates as an affiliate of NBC Sports Regional Networks. Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, the channel broadcasts regional coverage of sports events throughout the Mid-Atlantic United States, with a focus on professional sports teams based in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., as well as sports news and entertainment programming.
NBC Sports Washington is available on approximately 25 cable providers throughout Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, as well as parts of Delaware, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and West Virginia; it is also available nationwide on satellite via DirecTV and Dish Network. The channel reaches more than 4.7 million households in the Mid-Atlantic region.SportsNet New York
SportsNet New York (SNY) is an American regional sports network that is owned by Sterling Entertainment Enterprises, LLC, itself a joint venture between the New York Mets (which owns a controlling 65% interest), Charter Communications through its acquisition of Time Warner Cable in May 2016 (which owns 27%) and Comcast, through its NBC Sports Group subsidiary (which owns 8%). The channel primarily broadcasts games and related programming involving the Mets, but also carries supplementary coverage of the Mets and the New York Jets as well as college sports events.
SNY maintained business operations and street-level studio facilities located in the Time-Life Building at Rockefeller Center, on the corner of Avenue of the Americas and West 51st Street in Manhattan (in the former home of the now-defunct CNN news program American Morning) until March 2017, when they relocated to 4 World Trade Center. SportsNet New York is available on cable and fiber optic television providers throughout the New York metropolitan area and New York state; it is also available nationwide on satellite via DirecTV.Telemundo Deportes
Telemundo Deportes is the programming division of the NBC Sports Group, owned by the NBCUniversal Television Group division of NBCUniversal, that is responsible for the production of sports events and magazine programs that air on NBCUniversal's Spanish language television networks Telemundo and Universo. Originating as the former's sports division Deportes Telemundo from 1999 to 2015, it broadcasts an array of sports events, including the association football matches from various international football leagues and the Olympic Games, among others.Yahoo Sports
Yahoo Sports is a sports news website launched by Yahoo! on December 8, 1997. It receives a majority of its information from STATS, Inc. It employs numerous writers, and has team pages for teams in almost every North American major sports. Before the launch of Yahoo Sports, certain elements of the site were known as Yahoo! Scoreboard.
From 2011 to 2016, the Yahoo Sports brand had also been used for a U.S. sports radio network. That network is now known as SB Nation Radio.