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VERSUS Getting A New Name- NBC Sports Network

from Bob Fernandez of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

NBCUniversal is expected to announce Monday that it is renaming Versus, Comcast’s ratings-challenged 24-hour sports channel, as the NBC Sports Network in January 2012. Versus has had major operations at the Comcast Center in Philadelphia but is now under the control of NBC Sports in New York.

The goal of the Versus name change - and other changes expected to be announced in the coming months - is to make the sports channel more popular with fans so that Comcast can charge higher per-subscriber fees for it.

As part of the overhaul, NBC says the cable channel’s broadcasting style and presentation will parallel that of NBC Sports’ by emphasizing storytelling and profiles of athletes.

continued

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, VERSUS, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

bezukov's avatar

If Versus/NBC really wants to up their ratings, then they need pay the cable companies enough money to have the channel located in the same place as ESPN and Fox Sports on the channel lineup.  I don’t know too many sports fans who, after failing to find anything on ESPN, say to themselves: “Why don’t I check channel 857 and see whats on Versus.”  It would probably help to if they dumped Notre Dame football and put real teams on tv.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 08/01/11 at 11:33 AM ET

42jeff's avatar

Can we still call it Versass?

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 08/01/11 at 11:59 AM ET

Avatar

As part of the overhaul, NBC says the cable channel’s broadcasting style and presentation will parallel that of NBC Sports’ by emphasizing storytelling and profiles of athletes.

So… more Bob Costas in fuzzy turtleneck sweaters in front of a fireplace?

Posted by tj77 from USA on 08/01/11 at 12:27 PM ET

red_wings_49's avatar

All the horse racing, water polo, and outdoorsmen shows you could imagine!

They should learn how to broadcast more than 1 hockey game at a time…

Posted by red_wings_49 from Mad Heights, MI on 08/01/11 at 12:46 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

As part of the overhaul, NBC says the cable channel’s broadcasting style and presentation will parallel that of NBC Sports’

That’s a good idea. Let’s model it after the people who lost a billion dollars covering the Olympics.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/01/11 at 01:14 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

So when are they going to move it from most basic cable packages to one that I have to pay an extra $10 for a month?

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 08/01/11 at 01:39 PM ET

statelouis26's avatar

More lipstick to the pig.

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 08/01/11 at 02:41 PM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

Well, let’s hope that this ultimately translates into good things… such as:

1. Finding their way onto more basic cable packages (as I know plenty of people who don’t get Versus, and thus miss out on a lot of hockey - especially come playoff time)

2. More hockey coverage during the regular season (which NBC kinda promised us when they made that new 10-year deal)

3. More Doc Emrick! (yes, I’m one of those people that actually likes Doc)

Call me foolish if you will… but I prefer to remain optimistic about this whole thing…

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 08/01/11 at 04:01 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

2. More hockey coverage during the regular season (which NBC kinda promised us when they made that new 10-year deal)

I pay for Center Ice and am happy to do so. The last thing I want is to watch more of the games I want on a national broadcast.  I love the local broadcast teams.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/01/11 at 04:08 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

3. More Doc Emrick! (yes, I’m one of those people that actually likes Doc)

Call me foolish if you will… but I prefer to remain optimistic about this whole thing…

I’m hopeful too, and I also like Doc…of course…I like Thorne better but we can’t all have puppies and rainbows every day. I like my homer announcers best, but go figure.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 08/01/11 at 04:17 PM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

I pay for Center Ice and am happy to do so. The last thing I want is to watch more of the games I want on a national broadcast.  I love the local broadcast teams.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/01/11 at 02:08 PM ET

When I first got Direct TV (last summer - entirely because of NHL Network) - they threw in about 2 weeks of free Center Ice, and I absolutely loved it… but couldn’t really afford to foot the bill for it for the rest of the season (and I’m still trying to find a way to swing that cost for this upcoming season) . I love the local broadcasters too (except for the Pens crew - they are just gawd awful IMO).

I’m hopeful too, and I also like Doc…of course…I like Thorne better but we can’t all have puppies and rainbows every day. I like my homer announcers best, but go figure.

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 08/01/11 at 02:17 PM ET

Personally I’ve gotten a little sick of Thorne, but I blame that on spending far too much time playing the NHL-series. Him and Clement are still under contract with EA for another year, but I’m guessing they will likely go after Emrick, Eddie-O, and possibly Panger (as an on-ice analyst) for NHL 13 and beyond… as it would give the game a much more “modern” commentary sound… despite my nostalgia for the golden years of Thorne/Clement in the 90s… they really do need to “get with the times” if you ask me.

Of course, like most homers, I’ll take Redmond/Daniels any day of the week…. and hopefully Kenny will continue to get more Versus/NBC gigs this upcoming season, as that was a rather nice treat on occasion during last season’s playoffs.

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 08/01/11 at 04:36 PM ET

Forlorn in VA's avatar

I pay for Center Ice and am happy to do so. The last thing I want is to watch more of the games I want on a national broadcast.  I love the local broadcast teams.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/01/11 at 02:08 PM ET

I’ll second this.  I complain every Detroit game that is carried exclusively by NBC/Versus because, more often than not, it will have some combination of the Douche Canoe, the Douche Dinghy, or “Edzo” and that makes me not want to watch it.  If I do watch, I want to throw things at my tv every time one of those 3 open their mouths, and I spent way to much money on my tv to indulge those urges.

I wouldn’t mind so much if those broadcasts weren’t blacked out on Center Ice, but you know they will be.

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 08/01/11 at 04:40 PM ET

Lindas1st's avatar

I pay for Center Ice and am happy to do so. The last thing I want is to watch more of the games I want on a national broadcast.  I love the local broadcast teams.

+3

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 08/01/11 at 04:59 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Personally I’ve gotten a little sick of Thorne, but I blame that on spending far too much time playing the NHL-series.

Well…I wouldn’t know as EA stopped making NHL for PC in…*ducks

To be honest, the best sports game play by play and color guy was Jim Hughson and Don Taylor…

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 08/01/11 at 05:09 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

If Versus/NBC really wants to up their ratings, then they need pay the cable companies enough money to have the channel located in the same place as ESPN and Fox Sports on the channel lineup.
Posted by bezukov from Wings Fan in exile: Columbus, OH on 08/01/11 at 09:33 AM ET

Depending on your cable provider (I have Comcast so this isn’t too surprising) it is located with ESPN/FSN, with Versus being channel 30, ESPN 31, ESPN2 32, and FSN 33.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 08/01/11 at 06:13 PM ET

Primis's avatar

If Versus/NBC really wants to up their ratings, then they need pay the cable companies enough money to have the channel located in the same place as ESPN and Fox Sports on the channel lineup.

Posted by bezukov from Wings Fan in exile: Columbus, OH on 08/01/11 at 09:33 AM ET

Errrr, that’s not how the market works at all.  That’s completely backwards.  The carriers pay the network to carry it, and then make their money charging subscribers.

The problem isn’t even monetary, it’s honestly a lot of ill-will toward parent Comcast.  Comcast played some seriously dirty ball so when they decided to go with VERSUS a lot of their competitiors told them to go forth and multiply.

Here’s something fun to note though:  Comcast’s own network is the single biggest culprit of not having the channel available in a sane tier.

Want to know how bad the Comcast name has gotten in the market?  They been slowly rebranding themselves as Xfinity to try to distance themselevs from the baggage the Comcast name carries.

Posted by Primis on 08/01/11 at 06:56 PM ET

Avatar

I’d like Center Ice a lot better if I could get every game in HD with FiOS. If it’s possible with DirecTV, why not cable?

Posted by RyanVM on 08/01/11 at 11:57 PM ET

statelouis26's avatar

I’ve bought NHL game every dating back to 06’.  I hate doc so much let me put it this way.  If doc became the play-by-play guy on I wouldn’t buy another nhl again until he was dead.

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 08/02/11 at 05:58 AM ET

statelouis26's avatar

I complain every Detroit game that is carried exclusively by NBC/Versus because, more often than not, it will have some combination of the Douche Canoe, the Douche Dinghy, or “Edzo” and that makes me not want to watch it.  If I do watch, I want to throw things at my tv every time one of those 3 open their mouths, and I spent way to much money on my tv to indulge those urges.

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 08/01/11 at 02:40 PM ET

I second that.

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 08/02/11 at 06:02 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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