What Would a NBC-ized VERSUS Look Like?

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times postulates:

Versus (and its sister network, the Golf Channel) will be turned over to NBC for an overhaul, assuming regulators approve the deal, a process that could take 12 to 18 months. Versus will probably be renamed something like NBC Sports Cable to reflect a more defined sports brand. On-air and production talent would migrate from NBC, to a certain extent, although Bob Costas would not be hosting IndyCar races.

Versus and Golf would certainly be overseen by Dick Ebersol, the chairman of NBC Universal Sports, who has never had a sports cable network to tinker with (the expanding Universal Sports channel is distributed through NBC stations and affiliates); he would no doubt quickly strip Versus of its current crop of late-night infomercials.

But beefing up Versus’ quality and appearance is a small part of getting part of ESPN’s business. Comcast would have to decide to spend what is necessary to lure viewers from ESPN and ESPN2 by acquiring bigger events, like the Olympics, Major League Baseball, the N.F.L., Nascar and the N.B.A. — properties on a tier above its current rights to IndyCar, the Professional Bull Riders, Mountain West Conference football and mixed martial arts.

We’ll maybe do our own post on this later this week.

2 Responses to What Would a NBC-ized VERSUS Look Like?

  1. leafsfan1967 says:

    The other big question is, will this have any impact on the Versus/DirecTV mess or will it get worse with more channels leaving DirecTV because they are now owned by Comcast?

  2. Tim says:

    I’m guessing the added firepower will help Versus. DirecTV can arguably afford to blow off a second-rate sports network. They cannot afford to piss off WWE fans by dropping USA (Monday Night RAW) and Syfy (ECW).

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