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NBCSN To Shut Down By Year’s End

“NASCAR, the NHL, and the English Premier League will all see games shift to NBC and USA Network. The EPL will also see more games go to the over-the-top streaming service Peacock.”

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NBC Sports Network is headed to that big channel lineup in the sky. NBC has told satellite and cable companies as well as sports leagues that the cable network will go dark by the end of 2021 according to John Ourand of Sports Business Journal.

NBC does have plans for all of its play-by-play partners. NASCAR, the NHL, and the English Premier League will all see games shift to NBC and USA Network. The EPL will also see more games go to the over-the-top streaming service Peacock. According to Ourand, NBC has told the NHL that if their relationship continues, some of that league’s content will go to Peacock as well.

This is a clear sign that Peacock is the future of NBC Sports. The service already is home to shows like Pro Football Talk and The Dan Patrick Show, both of which used to air on NBCSN.

It should also be pointed out that viewers were tuning into the network. It has been the second most-watched cable sports network in America for two of the last three years behind only ESPN.

The timing of the shut down isn’t just about Peacock. NBC’s carriage deals for NBCSN with some major TV providers are set to expire at the end of the year. The network will also see play-by-play contracts with the NHL, EPL, and NASCAR expire in each of the next three years.

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Scripps Sports Exec: Teams Are Making Contingency Deals For After Bally Sports Bankruptcy

Lawlor said that Scripps Sports “already has deals in place with at least a couple of teams as a contingency in case Bally halts broadcasts before the end of the 2024 season.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Scripps Sports

With the writing on the wall that Diamond Sports Group will drop its regional sports contracts after next year, entities like Scripps Sports are bracing for additional opportunities to work with various teams.

Scripps Sports president Brian Lawlor recently said teams and leagues are already thinking ahead.

“There’s a lot of contingency planning by teams and leagues to have distribution options if the creditors pull the rug out early,” Lawlor told Cincinnati Business Courier. “It’s really messy right now.”

Lawlor added that Scripps has already been involved in contingency planning with those leagues and teams, with talks having gone on for months in some instances.

“(Scripps) already has deals in place with at least a couple of teams as a contingency in case Bally halts broadcasts before the end of the 2024 season.

Scripps Sports already stepped in to help provide a new TV home for both the Vegas Golden Knights and the Arizona Coyotes. Lawlor said returns with those teams, particularly in Vegas, have been great.

“We’ve been blown away by the Golden Knights over-the-air ratings and the number of people who have subscribed to direct-to-consumer,” he said.

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Bob Iger: ESPN Could ‘Go It Alone’ and Not Take Financial Partners

“We are fully prepared to do that. It would be a little more challenging if we did.”

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Bob Iger
Courtesy: CNBC

As Disney continues to consider selling an ownership stake in ESPN, Disney CEO Bob Iger told employees he’s not ruling out the possibility of not bringing in new financial partners.

Front Office Sports reported Wednesday that Iger spoke at a Disney town hall on Tuesday and there’s no requirement in place that says Disney must seek out new investors to maintain ESPN’s financial future.

“We could go it alone,” he said. “We are fully prepared to do that. It would be a little more challenging if we did.”

Disney has already had some level of conversations with potential partners including pro sports leagues and big tech companies.

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NASCAR to Announce $1.1B Rights Deal with FOX, NBC, Prime Video, TNT

The $1.1 billion figure represents a nearly 40% increase in what the organization receives from its current deals.

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A photo of the NASCAR Cup Series, FOX, Prime Video, TNT, and NBC Sports logos

NASCAR is on the verge of announcing a new TV rights deal that will see the racing organization bring in $1.1 billion annually from five TV partners.

The $1.1 billion figure represents a nearly 40% increase in what the organization receives from its current deals.

Beginning in 2025 and running through the 2031 season, NASCAR will air its first 14 Cup Series events with FOX and FS1. The next five events will air on Amazon Prime Video, making the first time a NASCAR event will be shown exclusively on a streaming service.

Following Amazon’s portion of the schedule, another five events will be broadcast on both TNT and the B/R Sports tier of the Max streaming service. The final 14 races of the year will be broadcast with NBC, USA Network, and Peacock, according to reporting from Sports Business Journal’s Adam Stern.

Previously, FOX Sports aired 18 races, while NBC aired 20, which includes two exhibition events.

In addition to its new deals with Amazon Prime Video and TNT for the Cup Series, NASCAR also has a previously announced new broadcast agreement with The CW to air each race of the Xfinity Series.

The upcoming announcement, which is expected either Wednesday or Thursday, comes on the heels of NASCAR President Steve Phelps admitting new TV partners would be entering the fray in the next contract.

“We are going to have an additional partner and we may have two additional partners,” Phelps told NBC Sports. “That’s kind of where we’re trying to figure out in these last few weeks — what that’s going to look like, but we already know we’re going to have more partners.”

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