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.