According to reports by the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, NBC Sports Group Chairman Pete Bevacqua told staffers in a memo that the NBC Sports Network cable channel is shutting down the end of this year. While it’s unclear what will happen to some of the content it currently airs, stuff like NHL games and NASCAR races will shift to the USA Network channel instead, and they plan to dual-broadcast some of those prior to the channel going dark.
This could also push some content to NBCUniversal’s streaming platform Peacock, but the focus right away seems to be strengthening USA Network as an option against channels like Warner’s TNT/TBS. Peacock already carries some soccer, and Sports Business Daily notes it recently announced plans to stream speed skating. NBCU also has the Golf Channel and Olympic channel, which will continue to broadcast.
Whether or not this strengthens the streaming library right away, as content giants like NBCU and WarnerMedia focus more on their internet brands, we may see more of these cable bundle standbys fade away and consolidate into fewer channels after years of expansion.