UPDATE: I’m told that there’s less than meets the eye to the ballyhooed “access” Yahoo says it will offer to “all of NBCOlympics.com’s exclusive digital video rights.” That simply means Yahoo will have links to the NBC site — not streams of the programming itself.
PREVIOUS: This is an extension of a previous deal between the companies according to a Tumblr post from Yahoo VP Ken Fuchs. The agreement includes access to “all of NBCOlympics.com’s exclusive digital video rights, including live competition streams and highlights, the creation of a digital Olympics daily show, and the showcase of Yahoo products through NBC’s digital and broadcast coverage of the Games.” Sportscasters from Yahoo Sports and NBC Sports will team for news and analysis on the digital platforms. In addition, the TV broadcasts will integrate material from Yahoo Search, Flickr and Tumblr “to tap into the pulse of the American Olympic fan during the Sochi Games.” Today’s announcement comes a little more than a year after Yahoo and NBC Sports unveiled their partnership for event coverage. The digital company and NBC also have a content sharing deal for CNBC, and this year Yahoo became the online home for the Saturday Night Live archives.
The new logo, which reflects the network’s evolving golf media businesses within the NBC Sports Group, will roll out on Golf Channel’s various platforms in May 2014, the network said today. The roll out will coincide with The Players Championship, the PGA Tour’s flagship tournament The new version will replace the network’s transitional logo, which has been used on Golf Channel and NBC since the network became part of the NBC Sports Group in 2011.
This weekend marked the start of English Premier League soccer with fans on both sides of the pond in a football frenzy. In the U.S., NBC Sports Group kicked off its exclusive coverage on Saturday with three live matches: Liverpool v Stoke City and Arsenal v Aston Villa on NBCSN, followed by Swansea City v Manchester United on NBC. The latter face-off gave NBC a .8 overnight rating, the highest ever for a Premier League opening weekend match in the U.S. Combined, the three matches averaged a .5 in the overnights for a 67% increase over last year’s three openers on ESPN and Fox Soccer. On NBC Sports Live Extra, more than 4 million minutes of action was streamed. In the UK, BT has challenged dominant football broadcaster Sky by acquiring rights to 38 live matches. In its broadcast on Saturday of Liverpool v Stoke, BT Sport averaged 447,000 viewers for a 5.1% share and peaked with 764,000 and a 7.7% share. Later in the day on Sky Sports 1, Swansea v Manchester United was seen by a peak of 3.09M viewers for a 17.4% share. Across Sky Sports 1, Sky2 and Pick TV, the game averaged 2.11M for a 12.5% share.
NBC Sports Network was known as Versus until the beginning of last year, and is about to adopt a new name: NBCSN. It will be a gradual transition, with new graphics and references phased in leading up to the 2014 Sochi Olympics in February. But the company says that it will “significantly increase” the effort beginning Saturday with its coverage of the Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Stoke City. NBCSN will be used as the “primary mark” for the network. “This is a natural evolution from the longer channel name to the acronym, as NBCSN is streamlined visually and a faster read,” says NBC Sports Group CMO John Miller. Viewers will see an image that says “NBC Sports Network” dissolve into the new logo, with an NBCSN voiceover. “By the Winter Olympics in February, the transformation will be complete, and the Games will be used to solidify NBCSN as the network’s name and brand,” Miller says. At that point the full name, NBC Sports Network, will only be seen from time to time. The Saturday rebranding initiative comes the same weekend that 21st Century Fox introduces Fox Sports 1.
NBC and NBC Sports Network are putting on the foil before the puck drops on the next National Hockey League season. The same day the league released its 2013-14 schedule, NBC Sports Group announced that the broadcast net and its cable sibling will air a combined 103 regular-season games during the NHL campaign. NBC Sports has fared well with its NHL coverage, with last month’s six-game Stanley Cup Final drawing the championship series’ most viewers since 1994. Overall, this year’s NHL playoffs averaged 1.47 million viewers across 84 games on NBC, NBC Sports Network and CNBC, resulting in the most-watched playoffs since 1997. Read More »
The coverage of every game in this year’s NHL Stanley Cup playoffs begins tomorrow with three games — including the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings at St. Louis on CNBC — and will feature as many as as 105 playoff games and possibly more than 260 hours of programming depending on how long each series last, the NBC Sports Group said today. It marks the second consecutive year the NBC networks will televise every game, taking fans into June. NBC, NBC Sports Network, CNBC, and NHL Network will pitch in. In addition, more games will be live-streamed than ever before: Besides TV Everywhere, NBC Sports Live Extra — the NBC Sports Group’s product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets — will stream games that air on NBC, NBC Sports Network, and CNBC, including the Stanley Cup Final for the first time. NBC and NBC Sports Network will share duties for the Stanley Cup Final series, with the broadcast network showing Game 1, Game 4, and Games 5-7 (if necessary), and NBC Sports Network televising Games 2-3.
The networks of the NBC Sports Group, which aired the London Olympics over the summer, drew a leading 48 nominations for the 34th annual Sports Emmy Awards, which will be bestowed May 7 in New York. Olympics programming accounted for 14 nominations for NBC and sibling networks NBC Sports Network, Golf Channel, NBCOlympics.com, Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC, NBCSports.com, Telemundo. ESPN‘s networks garnered 43 noms, and Turner Sports nets snagged 27 among the more than 170 nominees in 34 categories. The full list of nominees can be found at the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences site here.
NBCUniversal‘s NBC Sports Group has acquired exclusive U.S. media rights to English Premier League soccer matches through a multiyear agreement that begins with the 2013-14 season. NBCUniversal becomes the exclusive English- and Spanish-language media rights holder to all 380 Premier League games across all platforms and devices in the United States. NBC was believed to have bid $83 million for the rights, more than three times the amount previous rights-holder Fox Soccer had paid. Each of the 20 Premier League teams plays 38 matches over a 41-week period from August to May. NBC, NBC Sports Network and NBCSports.com will all be utilized to present live Premier League coverage, as well as Telemundo and mun2 for Spanish-language coverage. NBC Sports Live Extra will provide live streaming across web, tablet and mobile devices. Specific coverage plans will be announced later.
Fox’s deal announced today extends its current pact with NASCAR by eight years to 2022 and is worth $2.4 billion, the first fee increase for these racing rights in a decade. The network will pay about $300 million annually beginning in 2015 and keep its Daytona 500 , add TV Everywhere digital rights that had resided within the racing series previously, and air the first third of the Sprint Cup Series. The contract was worked out two years before the old one expired as part of an exclusive negotiating window. ESPN and Turner are next up for non-exclusive talks, which won’t begin until next summer. NASCAR’s current TV package is worth about $4.48 billion. Read More »
NBC Sports Group and Time Inc. Sports Group are teaming up to produce a monthly TV show titled Sports Illustrated. The announcement was made today by Jon Miller, President of Programming, NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network and Time Inc. Sports Group President Mark Ford. The show will feature segments, original reporting and commentary from SI’s journalists as well as spotlight stories from the past. The show, sponsored by Lexus, will premiere on the NBC Sports Network on July 24, just three days before the Opening Ceremony from the 2012 London Games. Subsequent new episodes with originate on either NBC Sports Network or NBC. Emmy Award-winning Red Line Films has been tapped to produce.
You’ll like this news if you enjoy seeing men try to give each other brain trauma. NBC’s cable sports channel says this morning that it has renewed its Fight Night series of Saturday matches for a second season, and plans to up the number of bouts to 16 from six — with at least six matches a year. NBC Sports President Jon Miller adds that NBC Sports Group will try to book as many as two Fight Night broadcasts on NBC. The company says that its deal with Main Events and matchmaker J Russell Peltz will give any promoter “the opportunity to get their boxers involved in these programs and allows viewers the ability to see world class match-ups that would not otherwise take place.” Peltz adds that the fights “have been promoted the old-fashioned way, in sold-out noisy venues in Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Bethlehem and Newark. This is the way boxing was meant to be.” Kenny Rice will remain the play-by-play commentator, joined by boxing trainer Freddie Roach and cruiserweight contender B.J. Flores. Chris Mannix will continue to be the ringside reporter.
The new multiplatform agreement goes into effect next year and gives NBC Sports Group the U.S. television, digital and mobile rights to the famed bike race through 2023. The tour was the marquee event on Comcast‘s Versus channel, which was rebranded and relaunched at the start of this year as NBC Sports Network folllowing Comcast’s purchase of NBCUniversal. Today’s announcement of a deal with rightsholder the Amaury Sport Organisation comes as NBC is prepping to broadcast this year’s race. It includes 295 total hours of coverage — 19 of the 21 stages will air live, and two will air live on NBC. The full-court press features 13 hours of racing and analysis topped by a nightly studio show. Coverage of this year’s 99th edition begins Saturday at 8 AM ET/5 AM PT at the Grand Start in Belgium. The race’s stunning backdrop — its stages include stretches in the French countryside, and in both the Pyrenees and the Alps — make it one of the best-looking sporting events on TV. (A certain Deadline Editor in Chief doesn’t miss a pedal of it.)
Ross Greenburg, who in July departed as president of HBO Sports, has been tapped to produce documentaries for the newly formed NBC Sports Group, which includes the NBC Sports Network, Golf Channel and NBC. He also will produce Costas Tonight, the new monthly interview show that will debut in spring 2012 on the NBC Sports Network — the new name of Comcast’s rebranded Versus channel that launches January 2. That’s also the airdate of Greenburg’s first documentary, Cold War On Ice: Summit Series ’72, which looks at a hockey series between Canadian All-Stars and the Soviet Union during the Cold War in 1972. Greenburg founded Ross Greenburg Productions after ending his 33-year career at HBO, the last of 11 of which were spent as president of the sports division. He previously worked with Costas on the premium network on the sports broadcaster’s On the Record and CostasNOW. “Ross is a master storyteller and a perfect fit to produce high-quality, relevant programming for all of our platforms, particularly NBC Sports Network and Golf Channel,” said NBC Sports Group chairman Mark Lazarus. “His award-winning collaborative relationship with Bob made the decision to retain Ross to oversee production of Costas Tonight a natural.”
Mark Lazarus has bolstered his executive team at NBC Sports Group, hiring former ESPN executive Rob Simmelkjaer at SVP of NBC Sports Ventures, a unit that comprises NBC-owned businesses like the Alliance of Action Sports, the American Century Golf Championship, the ADT Golf Skills Challenge, the Heads Up Poker Championship and the National Dog Show. Simmelkjaer also will lead international business development at the sports group — drawing on his experience managing ESPN/Disney’s Olympics relationship as ESPN’s VP International Development and Corporate Projects — and he will also oversee its stake in Universal Sports. He reports to Gary Zenkel, president of NBC Olympics and EVP Strategic Partnerships at NBC Sports Group. Meanwhile, Lazarus also promoted Earl Marshall to CFO; he had been CFO of the NBC Sports Cable Group. He will have oversight of the NBC Sports Group consisting of NBC Sports, Olympics, Versus, Golf Channel, the 11 regional sports networks and digital assets and report to Lazarus.