VERSUS Name Change Will Be a Variation on NBC, Is “Months away”

From Bob Fernandez of the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Comcast Corp.’s 24-hour sports network, Versus, will fall under the direct management of Jon Litner, a former ABC Sports executive who has run Comcast’s regional sports networks, and will stay in Philadelphia.


Some employees had been concerned that Versus – or even the regional sports networks – might relocate to New York after control of their businesses was taken over by entertainment and news giant NBC Universal Inc. because of the company’s joint venture with Comcast.


In an announcement Wednesday naming its top executives, NBC Sports said Litner would be president of Versus and SportsNet and would be based here.


Dick Ebersol, the longtime head of NBC Sports, said in an interview Wednesday that he considered the Comcast regional sports networks now part of NBC Universal’s “crown jewels.” He said he expected to bolster Versus by acquiring the rights to more sports for it, though he declined to say which sports.


Ebersol also indicated that the company would change the Versus name to some variation reflecting the NBC brand, but he said the change was months away.


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