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No more Versus


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#1 Krayzie_Bone

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 08:26 AM

A link from the red wings twitter. http://www.philly.co.../126495098.html

Versus is history.

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.

The ownership of both Versus and the Golf Channel were officially transferred to NBCUniversal when Comcast acquired NBCU in a deal with General Electric Co. that closed seven months ago. The Golf Channel name will remain.

The date of the Versus rebranding in January 2012 coincides with NBC's broadcast of NFL wild-card playoff games, the NHL's Winter Classic and the Super Bowl - all games televised by NBC and with big audiences, allowing maximum exposure for on-air promotions to the new name.

NBC says there will be blending of personnel between the NBC broadcast-TV operations and the cable sports channel, and it seems likely that NBC Sports Network will air some of the games from the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London.

NBCU officials say Versus already has benefited from the merger, noting that in the 177 days since it closed, the cable channel's prime-time viewership has doubled.

The new name will be the latest incarnation for a sports channel that began as Outdoor Life, geared toward hunting and fishing. That was eventually shortened to OLN and then Versus in September 2006.

Versus has focused its programming in recent years on professional hockey, bull riding, mixed-martial arts, and the Tour de France bike race.

There will be greater coordination in sports coverage between NBC's broadcast-TV operations and the cable channel, officials say. NBC has the rights to the Triple Crown horse races, Notre Dame football, and many other competitions.

No major changes in personnel are expected with the name change.

Read more: http://www.philly.co...l#ixzz1Tmdy2OsJ
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Edited by Krayzie_Bone, 01 August 2011 - 08:28 AM.


#2 CaliWingsNut

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 08:50 AM

OLD news.....

www.versus.com has redirected to http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/ for months.

NBC announced they would be doing this back with the NHL contract agreement... Guess they need multiple announcements to reach people.

Edited by CaliWingsNut, 01 August 2011 - 08:51 AM.

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#3 Travis

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 08:54 AM

Yeah, I hadn't any idea of this either until it was mentioned in the Strader thread. I had DirecTV's basic package so I didn't get Versus, anyway, but I'll be watching all my games on GameCenter this season. :cool:

That's irrelevant, though. I'm into this move. I never liked the name Versus, and changing it to NBC Sports Network immediately gives them more legitimacy - especially among peripheral sports fans.

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#4 Hockeytown0001

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 09:19 AM

On the fence on that one. I've always liked the name Versus.

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#5 Seraph

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 10:32 AM

At least NBC Sports Network actually sounds like something... not a reject sport channel where faltering leagues go to die. It'll be a good move as long as hockey remains the channel's featured event. Otherwise, we might be taking a back seat to other sports like when we were on ESPN.

Edited by The Nephilim, 01 August 2011 - 10:33 AM.

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#6 vladdy16

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 10:49 AM

At least NBC Sports Network actually sounds like something... not a reject sport channel where faltering leagues go to die. It'll be a good move as long as hockey remains the channel's featured event. Otherwise, we might be taking a back seat to other sports like when we were on ESPN.

I can't imagine they'll relegate hockey to the back seat - they paid too much for the rights.
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#7 cusimano_brothers

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 02:14 PM

So, it's NBCSN, is it?. A little gaudy, just like the network that owns it.
However, don't bother remembering that acronym; it's already been taken .
Upon further review, if they don't put a space after the "c", there might not be a lawsuit.

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#8 SiLkK19

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 03:00 PM

What ever just get Gary Thorne.

#9 Electrophile

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 03:39 PM

What ever just get Gary Thorne.



Yes, and tell him to bring Bill Clement with him. I'm not old enough to have a lawn or an onion tied to my belt, but I do remember the good ol' days when Thorne and Clement called hockey games on ESPN, and they're the voices of all those great Red Wings moments from the 90s - like Steve's goal against the Blues in '96, Game 4 of the '97 Cup Finals, the Brawl in Hockeytown.....all of it.

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#10 SouthernWingsFan

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 08:40 PM

Aside from Doc Emerick and Pierre being unbearable to listen to at times, overall I liked Versus, though I'm not really too hard to please. As long as I can watch my games somewhere, I really don't care what station it is. It could be on the Food Network for all I care as long as it is available somewhere.

Anyways, while I think VS was slowly and surely becoming more known, can't see how this won't help NBC compete more with CBS and ABC in sports, etc. assuming VS keeps some of their current sports contracts. NHL obviously, and Versus also broadcasts MMA, the Tour de France, etc. They've also broadcasted college football games (and some basketball to a lesser extent I think) in the Mountain West Confernece, as well as the Pac-10 (now the Pac-12) and the Big 12. I think the Big 12 might've moved on this past season, but they usually had the top pick of games for the MWC every week and a 2nd or 3rd pick in the Pac-10/12 conference if I had to guess.

To compare/contrast, CBS Sports Network did a re-branding recently as well, so you wonder if this is some kind of standard now. That station was first CSTV (College Sports TV), then it went onto CBS College Sports, and now to its present name. I don't watch the station much outside of college football season or an occassional college hockey game but I'm guessing they are going with more sports/reach now. For college they often broadcasted games in the Mountain West Conference as well in addition to Conference-USA, and they'd replay plenty of games from the SEC and such.

Just some FYIs and cool little tidbits I find interesting.

#11 HadThomasVokounOnFortSt

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 10:30 PM

Wait will hockey still be on Fox Sports?

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#12 Shoreline

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 10:39 PM

Rebranding is a fairly common technique. The only difference to customers it may have is perhaps cable/satellite co's may need to re-negotiate terms (i.e. money like the Versus issue that got it thrown off DirecTV for a long while) for broadcast?

The reason for rebranding is that Versus didn't seem to be much of a household name like ESPN, and the idea is to use the NBC name as well as the addition of other major sports/activities to generate more interest for the sake of competition. It could also be because most of the people who watched Versus also associated it with OLN (in urban cases probably more with hunting/bullfighting) which doesn't really translate marketing-wise to urban areas, so the marketing strategy of rebranding is employed.

#13 stormboy

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 12:04 AM

Yeah, it'll be interesting to see where this all goes. My gut reaction is that NBC Sports has more legitimacy than "Versus," and obviously they think that viewers in general will feel the same.

I also think it's good for the sport to be associated with a major network in name (as opposed to actually being associated with NBC financially, but not in name). When the NHL was on OLN, it was a joke -- football is on Monday nights in prime time and hockey is sandwiched between bass fishing and 'coon skinning. Versus was an improvement, but NBC Sports just...feels better.

Wait will hockey still be on Fox Sports?


Yes. As far as I know, this doesn't affect any of the local FS networks (someone correct me if I'm wrong). But the nationally broadcast games will now be on NBC Sports rather than Versus (those being the games that we had to tune in to not on FSD already).
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#14 CaliWingsNut

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 01:59 AM

Yes. As far as I know, this doesn't affect any of the local FS networks (someone correct me if I'm wrong). But the nationally broadcast games will now be on NBC Sports rather than Versus (those being the games that we had to tune in to not on FSD already).


For the most part you're correct. The new comcast contract means they will have fewer games to broadcast, but they will definately still be around. NBC & NBCSports (and 3rd unannounced NBC/Comcast channel) will cover the playoffs.

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#15 Kira

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 12:13 PM

I'm more than sure that the Fox stations won't be affected...they would have to have way more regional programming on NBC Sports Net than they have, so I think we're pretty safe. I just wish they would dump Emrich, Olczyk (I apologize if I spelled that wrong), and Roenick, and hire Bill Clement and Gary Thorne (I never thought I'd hear myself saying this) and let them do their thing.
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#16 Vladifan

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 02:31 PM

It'll be interesting to see if they pick up in ratings for hockey games. I don't see it happening unless they make it more accessible as a channel. And I don't see that happening.

And yes, PLEASE. Bring back Clement and Thorne!!

Edited by Vladifan, 02 August 2011 - 02:32 PM.

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#17 cusimano_brothers

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 02:41 PM

From the link:

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.


Mo' rebranding = Mo' money.

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#18 evilmrt

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 10:30 PM

I'm more than sure that the Fox stations won't be affected...they would have to have way more regional programming on NBC Sports Net than they have, so I think we're pretty safe.


Fox stations will be limited to 1st round playoff coverage only. NBC Sports will have more exclusive season games than before, as well.

#19 Doc Holliday

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 12:08 AM

Yes, and tell him to bring Bill Clement with him. I'm not old enough to have a lawn or an onion tied to my belt, but I do remember the good ol' days when Thorne and Clement called hockey games on ESPN, and they're the voices of all those great Red Wings moments from the 90s - like Steve's goal against the Blues in '96, Game 4 of the '97 Cup Finals, the Brawl in Hockeytown.....all of it.


That game wasn't broadcasted nationally.

Would have given Thorne a heart attack.

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#20 Raise The Cup

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 12:50 PM

From the link:



Mo' rebranding = Mo' money.


As always the consumer takes it on the chin.






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