NBCUniversal plans to axe its cable sports channel NBCSN at the end of 2021 and shift some of its sports programming to the USA Network as part of a “larger transition” within the company, according to an internal memo.
Later this year, USA Network will start carrying or simulcasting certain NBC Sports offerings, including NASCAR races and NHL Stanley Cup Playoff games, the memo from NBC Sports Group chairman Pete Bevacqua says.
Starting in 2022, after NBCSN goes dark, some programming will also be shouldered by Peacock.
The move to draw the curtain on the sports-centric network does not signal a reduction in NBCU’s commitment to carry live sports, according to the memo, but rather is targeted to make the USA Network “an extraordinarily powerful platform” that will give the media giant’s sports programming an audience boost.
However, USA is not poised to become an all-sports network, Variety reports.
Additional details are not yet known about how this transition will impact all of NBCU’s sports portfolio, which includes NASCAR, the NHL, English Premier League soccer and the Olympic Games.