Jan 22, 2021 - Economy

NBCUniversal to shut down its sports cable network

The NBC Sports car sits on pit lane before the start of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart on July 13, 2019, at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Kentucky.

The NBC Sports car sits on pit lane before the start of a race at the Kentucky Speedway. Photo: Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Comcast's NBCUniversal will shut down its sports cable channel, NBCSN, at the end of the year and move some of its premium programming, including NHL playoff games and NASCAR races, to its USA Network, Axios confirmed Friday.

Driving the news: The company is "hoping to solve two problems with one move: Get rid of an underperforming asset and boost an already powerful one," noted the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news.

  • The coronavirus pandemic has also forced many companies to make cost-cutting decisions.

What they're saying: "We’re all aware of how quickly the media landscape is evolving, and our Company is taking thoughtful steps to stay ahead of these trends wherever possible and, in many instances, help set them," NBC Sports Group chair Pete Bevacqua said in an internal memo.

  • The company's decision about NBCSN and its programming "will make USA Network an extraordinarily powerful platform in the media marketplace, and gives our sports programming a significant audience boost," Bevacqua added.

Some programming will also move to NBCUniversal's streaming service, Peacock, the company said.

  • Peacock is already hosting much of NBC's coverage of the Premier League.
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