NBC Sports

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NBC Sports
NBC Sports logo 2012.png
Network NBC
Country of origin United States
Key people Mark Lazarus (chairman, NBC Sports Group)
Headquarters Stamford, Connecticut
Major broadcasting contracts NFL
Olympics
NASCAR
NHL
Notre Dame football
PGA Tour
IndyCar Series
Triple Crown
Tour de France
Premier League
Formula One
Owner NBC Sports Group
(NBC Universal)
Official website nbcsports.com

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 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.

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

Main article: History of NBC Sports

2000s[edit]

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.

Former logo for NBC Sports, used from 1989 to 2011.

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.[1] 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.[2]

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 and LII.

NBC Sports Group[edit]

Main article: NBC Sports Group

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.[3] 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.[4]

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.[5] 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.[6]

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.[7] 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.[8]

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.[9][10][11]

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.[12] 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, NBC Sports reached a 10-year deal to restore NASCAR coverage to its properties for the first time since 2006. Beginning in the 2015 season, NBC and NBCSN televise coverage of the final 20 races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and the final 19 races of the NASCAR Nationwide Series. 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.[13][14]

In May 2015, NBCUniversal announced the formation of NBC Deportes, which will serve as a Spanish-language branch of NBC Sports for Telemundo and NBC Universo.[15]

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.[16] 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.[17]

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.[18]

On March 7, 2016 NBC Sports and England's Premiership Rugby agreed an initial three-year deal to televise the Aviva Premiership from the following season. Up to 24 regularly scheduled Game of the Week programs for each round of the premiership will air on NBCSN and up to 50 other games will also be streamed live throughout the season on NBC Sports Live Extra. NBC's first live match was on March 12, 2016 when London Irish hosted Saracens at the Red Bull Arena in New Jersey. Live on NBCSN.[19]

Olympics[edit]

Main article: Olympics on NBC

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 having televised 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. The 2010 Games in Vancouver were watched by a total of 190 million viewers,[20] including 27.6 million viewers of the Gold Medal Game in men's hockey.[21]

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.[22] 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.[23]

Programs throughout the years[edit]

Current programs[edit]

Former programs[edit]

Notable personalities[edit]

Bob Costas, NBC Sports' primary studio and Olympics host
NBC Sunday Night Football play-by-play announcer Al Michaels
NHL on NBC lead play-by-play announcer Mike "Doc" Emrick

Present[edit]

Play-by-play[edit]

Analysts[edit]

Reporters[edit]

Studio hosts[edit]

Studio analysts[edit]

Former[edit]

Play-by-play[edit]

Analysts[edit]

Reporters[edit]

Studio hosts[edit]

Telemundo personalities[edit]

Presidents and chairmen[edit]

Main competitors[edit]

NBC Sports / NBC Sports Group

References[edit]

  1. ^ "'Winter Classic" Most Viewed Regular Season NHL Game in 34 Years,'". TV by the Numbers. January 13, 2009. 
  2. ^ "Game 7 most watched in 36 years". National Hockey League. 
  3. ^ Mike Reynolds. "McCarley To Head Golf Channel, Davis Out at Versus in NBC Sports Group Reorg: Sources". Multichannel News. Retrieved February 2, 2011. 
  4. ^ Jim Williams (February 2011). "Jim Williams: Gold coverage has new look". The Washington Examiner. 
  5. ^ "NHL reaches new television deal to remain on NBC, Versus". CNNSI. Time Warner. Associated Press. April 19, 2011. Retrieved April 19, 2011. 
  6. ^ "ESPN acquires exclusive Wimbledon rights". ESPNLosAngeles.com. ESPN. July 5, 2011. Retrieved July 5, 2011. 
  7. ^ "MLS and NBC Sports announce new TV deal". The New York Times (Goal Blogs). The New York Times Company. August 10, 2011. Retrieved August 10, 2011. 
  8. ^ "NBC wins $250m rights to broadcast English Premier League in US". The Guardian. London. Associated Press. October 29, 2012. Retrieved October 29, 2012. 
  9. ^ Jenna Fryer (October 14, 2012). "NBC Sports Group gets US rights to Formula One". The Huffington Post. AOL. Associated Press. 
  10. ^ "SPEED coverage of Formula One comes to an end in 2012". Motorsport.com. Retrieved October 13, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Formula 1 lands four-year deal with NBC". Racer. Archived from the original on October 16, 2012. Retrieved October 16, 2012. 
  12. ^ Michael Heistand (March 13, 2013). "NBC to air MLS marathon in new digs". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  13. ^ "NBC wins NASCAR TV rights, signs 10-year deal to replace ESPN, Turner". The Sporting News. July 23, 2013. Retrieved July 24, 2013. 
  14. ^ "NASCAR AND NBC SPORTS GROUP REACH LANDMARK MEDIA RIGHTS AGREEMENT". NBC Sports Group Press Box. Retrieved July 25, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Upfronts 2015: NBC Deportes Ramps Up". Multichannel News. Retrieved May 16, 2015. 
  16. ^ "NBC Sports and R&A agree". GolfChannel.com. Retrieved August 30, 2015. 
  17. ^ Ourand, John (October 12, 2015). "NBC getting British Open a year early". Sports Business Journal. Retrieved October 12, 2015. 
  18. ^ Fang, Ken. "NBC'S UNIVERSAL SPORTS CHANNEL IS OFFICIALLY NO MORE; SPORTS TO RELOCATE THROUGHOUT NBC PROPERTIES". Awful Announcing. Retrieved 21 November 2015. 
  19. ^ "Aviva Premiership Going Live on NBC Sports in America". London Irish. London Irish. Retrieved 7 March 2016. 
  20. ^ "NBC's Final Medal Count: 190 Million Olympic Viewers". Multichannel News. March 1, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Olympic Hockey Gold Medal Game Viewed by Most in U.S. Since '80". Business Week. March 1, 2010. 
  22. ^ "NBC to provide unprecedented coverage of 2014 Winter Sochi Olympics". Comcast Corporate. December 20, 2013. Retrieved January 20, 2014. 
  23. ^ "NBC to stream exclusive Winter Olympics digital programming". HD Report. January 10, 2014. Retrieved January 20, 2014. 
  24. ^ NBC did not provide live event coverage due to the US-led boycott.
  25. ^ Les Brown (July 19, 1979). "CBS Alumni Reunite at NBC's Top". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. 
  26. ^ Jack Craig (June 30, 1991). "Watson got results, not publicity". Boston Globe. Retrieved May 15, 2012. 
  27. ^ "Former Chairman of NBC Sports Group Dick Ebersol, USOC CMO Lisa Baird to be Honored at 2012 PromaxBDA Sports Marketing Summit & Awards". Yahoo! (Press release). October 17, 2012. Retrieved November 15, 2012. 
  28. ^ "PLUS: TELEVISION SPORTS; New President Named at NBC". The New York Times. June 19, 1998. Retrieved November 15, 2012. 
  29. ^ Nellie Andreeva. "Post-Merger NBC Sports Group Unveils Executive Team". Deadline.com. Retrieved November 15, 2012. 

External links[edit]