|Launched||November 8, 1946 by WNBC in New York City|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Key people||Pete Bevacqua (chairman, NBC Sports Group)|
|Major broadcasting contracts|
|Sister network|| NBCSN |
NBC Sports Gold
|Official website|| nbcsports|
NBC Sports is an American programming division of the broadcast network NBC, owned and operated by NBC Sports Group division of NBCUniversal and subsidiary of Comcast, that is responsible for sports broadcasts on the network, and its dedicated national sports networking cables. Formerly operating as "a service of NBC News", it broadcasts a diverse array of sports events, including the French Open, the IndyCar Series, NASCAR, the National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL), Notre Dame Fighting Irish college football, the Olympic Games, professional golf, Premier League soccer, the Tour de France and Thoroughbred racing, among others. Other programming from outside producers – such as coverage of the Ironman Triathlon – is also presented on the network through NBC Sports. With Comcast's acquisition of NBCUniversal in 2011, its own cable sports networks were aligned with NBC Sports into a part of the division known as the NBC Sports Group.
In 2000, NBC declined to renew its broadcast agreement with Major League Baseball. In 2002, it was additionally outbid by ESPN and ABC for the National Basketball Association's new broadcast contract, ending the league's twelve-year run on NBC.
During this era, NBC experimented with broadcasting emerging sports. In 2001, the network partnered with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) to establish the XFL – a new football league which introduced modified rules and debuted to tremendous, but short-lived fanfare, only lasting one season (NBC shared broadcast rights to the league's games, which were mainly held on Saturday nights, with UPN). In 2003, NBC obtained the broadcast rights and a minority interest in the Arena Football League. The network televised weekly games on a regional basis, as well as the entire playoffs. The deal lasted four years, after which the league and NBC parted ways.
Beginning with the 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup Series, NBC began its foray into NASCAR. NASCAR on NBC, along with NASCAR on Fox and NASCAR on TNT, obtained the broadcast rights of the top two series – the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series – in a six-year deal, beginning in 2001. NBC televised the second half of the season and alternated coverage of the Daytona 500 with Fox. In December 2005, NBC announced that it would not renew its agreement with NASCAR. In 2001, NBC obtained the broadcast rights to horse racing's Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing in a five-year deal.
In 2004, NBC reached a broadcast agreement with the National Hockey League (NHL). The revenue-sharing deal called for the two sides to split advertising revenue after the network recouped the expenses. Games were supposed to begin airing on the network during the 2004–05 season, however a league 2004–05 NHL lockout that resulted in the cancellation of that season delayed the start of the contract until the second half of the 2005–06 NHL season. NBC televised regular season games at first on Saturday afternoons before moving the telecast to Sundays, Saturday and Sunday afternoon playoff games, and up to five games of the Stanley Cup. Additionally in 2008, NBC broadcast the 2008 NHL Winter Classic, an outdoor NHL game played on New Year's Day at Ralph Wilson Stadium, a success in attendance and television ratings. The following year's Winter Classic would become the most-watched regular season game in 34 years.In addition to this regular season success, Game 7 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Final was watched by an average of 8 million viewers, the highest ratings for an NHL game in 36 years.
The NFL also returned to NBC in 2006 after an eight-year hiatus, broadcasting the league's new flagship Sunday Night Football game, along with select postseason games and Super Bowls XLIII, XLVI, XLIX, LII and LVI.
In January 2011, Comcast finalized its acquisition of a majority share in NBC Universal. As a result of the merger, the operations of Comcast's existing sports networks, such as Golf Channel and NBCSN, were merged into an entity known as the NBC Sports Group. NBC Sports' senior vice president Mike McCarley additionally became Golf Channel's new head.NBC Sports' golf production unit was merged with Golf Channel, along with NBC's on-air staff, with that unit rebranding under the banner "Golf Channel on NBC", while Versus was reformatted toward a more mainstream audience, renamed the NBC Sports Network and eventually rebranded as NBCSN.
The merger also helped influence an extension of NBC Sports' contract with the NHL; the 10-year deal – valued at close to $2 billion, unified the cable and broadcast television rights to the league and introduced a new "Black Friday" Thanksgiving Showdown game on NBC, along with national coverage for every game in the Stanley Cup playoffs. On July 3, 2011, ESPN obtained the exclusive broadcast rights to The Championships, Wimbledon in a 12-year deal, ending NBC's television relationship with The Championships after 42 years.
From 2012 until 2015, Major League Soccer games were shown on NBC and the NBC Sports Network. This included the broadcast of two regular season games, two playoff games, and two national team matches on NBC and 38 regular season games, three playoff games, and two national team matches on NBC Sports Network. million deal, replacing ESPN and Fox Soccer as the league's U.S. broadcasters.Since the 2013–14 season NBC Sports has also held the rights to televise Premier League soccer in English (primarily on NBCSN) and Spanish (on Telemundo and Universo), through a $250
NBC Sports held broadcast rights to the Formula One (formerly held by Speed and Fox Sports) from 2013 until 2017. The majority of its coverage (including much of the season, along with qualifying and practice sessions) aired on NBCSN, while NBC aired the Monaco Grand Prix, Canadian Grand Prix and the final two races of the season, which in the first year of the deal included the United States Grand Prix. All races were also streamed online and through the NBC Sports Live Extra mobile app.They lost the broadcast rights to ESPN beginning from the 2018 season.
On March 18, 2013, nearly all of the operations for NBC Sports and NBCSN began to be based out of a purpose-built facility in Stamford, Connecticut. The move was made mainly to take advantage of tax credits given by the state of Connecticut, which NBC has taken advantage of previously with the tabloid talk shows of its NBCUniversal Television Distribution.Only Football Night in America remained in New York City, at NBC Studios, until September 7, 2014, when production of that program also moved to Stamford.
NASCAR returned to NBC Sports properties in 2015 under a ten-year deal, with NBC once again airing the second half of the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series seasons. While no specific financial details were disclosed, NBC reportedly paid 50% more than ESPN and TNT (who took over the portion of the season previously held by NBC) combined under the previous deal.
In May 2015, NBCUniversal announced the formation of NBC Deportes (later renamed Telemundo Deportes), which serves as a Spanish language branch of NBC Sports for Telemundo and NBC Universo.
On June 7, 2015, amid its loss of rights to the USGA's championships to Fox (including the U.S. Open), NBC Sports and The R&A agreed to a twelve-year deal to televise The Open Championship, Senior Open Championship, and Women's British Open on NBC and Golf Channel, beginning in 2017.Existing rightsholder ESPN opted out of its final year of its agreement for the tournaments, with the Open subsequently debuting a year early in 2016.
Universal Sports ceased operations in November 2015. NBCUniversal acquired the rights to the content that was previously held by Universal Sports Network. Much of the programming moved to either Universal HD, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.
From 2016 until 2018, NBC Sports held the rights to Premiership Rugby, the top division of English rugby union, through a three-year deal. The contract included up to 24 regularly-scheduled games on NBCSN per-season, and up to 50 streaming. Its first live match was on March 12, 2016, when London Irish hosted Saracens F.C. at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.
In June 2016, NBC Sports launched NBC Sports Gold, a suite of sport-specific over-the-top subscription services that would included expanded and overflow coverage of its properties.
On July 15, 2017. NBCUniversal relaunched Universal HD as Olympic Channel, a network that would carry Olympic sports programming as a compliment to its long-standing agreement to cover the Games.
In early 2018, it was announced that NBC Sports would renew its contract with the IndyCar Series (continuing a relationship with NBCSN which began in 2009 as Versus),through 2021, and acquire the broadcast television rights previously held by ABC. NBC televises eight races per-season since 2019, including the series flagship Indianapolis 500, with the remaining races airing on NBCSN as before. An IndyCar package is also offered through NBC Sports Gold. Shortly after, NBC announced a six-year agreement with the International Motor Sports Association beginning 2019, including the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, with the majority of coverage on NBCSN.
Following the launch of NBCUniversal's streaming service Peacock, NBC Sports began to migrate some of its overflow content (including the Premier League and other NBC Sports Gold services) to the service.NBC plans to shut down NBCSN by the end of 2021, with Peacock and USA Network planning to subsume its content.
On June 29, 2020, Fox sold the last seven years of its contract to air USGA tournaments to NBC, regaining rights to the U.S. Open for the first time since 2015.
In 1964, NBC televised the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo; in 1972, NBC televised the 1972 Winter Olympics for the first time. 1980 would prove to be a stinging disappointment for the network; after contentious negotiations, NBC won the broadcast rights to the 1980 Summer Olympics. After the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, the United States and 64 other countries boycotted the event. NBC substantially scaled back its coverage and lost heavily in advertising revenue. In 1988, NBC televised the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. Since then, it has branded itself as "America's Olympic Network", televising every Summer Olympic Games since the Seoul event, as well as every Winter Olympic Games since 2002 Winter Olympics. In total, NBC has aired 13 Summer and Winter Olympics, the most by any one U.S. network. The Olympic Games have also become an integral part of the network, despite some recurring controversy over its method of broadcast delaying events in part to take advantage of a wider national audience in prime time.
In 1998, Ebersol was named president of NBC Sports and Olympics.
The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver were watched by a total of 190 million viewers, million viewers of the gold medal game in men's hockey.including 27.6
During the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, over 500 hours of the games were broadcast across five NBC-owned television channels (NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, MSNBC and USA Network), with 1,000 hours being streamed digitally.In January, the company announced some exclusive digital-only streaming of the 2014 Olympics via the NBCOlympics.com website and the NBC Sports Live Extra app for Android and iOS, including exclusive content such as Gold Zone, Olympic Ice and NBC's Olympic News Desk.
With the premiere of Sunday Night Football, NBCUniversal hired Troika Design Group to design an overall visual identity for its coverage, including branding, on-air graphics, and other visual elements.
Concurrent with the relaunch of Versus as NBC Sports Network on January 2, 2012, and the 2012 NHL Winter Classic, NBC Sports also launched a comprehensive redesign of its branding, including a new on-air graphics design built around the NBC peacock, and an updated logo for the division as a whole (replacing a logo that had been in use since 1989). The new design was also intended to be modular, allowing it to be expanded for use in larger events across multiple networks (such as the Super Bowl and the Olympic Games).A refreshed design for on-air graphics was introduced on January 1, 2015 (in time for the 2015 NHL Winter Classic and NFL playoffs), with a cleaner and brighter visual appearance.
NBC debuted a new graphics package specifically for Sunday Night Football during Super Bowl LII. NBC producer Fred Gaudelli stated that the network wanted the Sunday night games to have a more distinctive presentation to set them apart from other games.NBC similarly diverged for its Premier League coverage in 2019, adopting elements of its new British sibling Sky Sports.
During the final season of its NHL coverage, NBC unveiled a new scoreboard for the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs which matches the graphics package that was introduced in the 2019–20 season.
Golf Channel is an American sports television network owned by the NBC Sports Group division of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. Founded in Birmingham, Alabama, it is currently based out of NBC Sports' headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut.
ESPN on ABC is the brand used for sports event and documentary programming televised by the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) in the United States. Officially, the broadcast network retains its own sports division; however, for practical purposes, ABC's sports division was merged into ESPN Inc. in 2006, which is the parent subsidiary of the cable sports network ESPN that is majority owned by ABC's corporate parent, The Walt Disney Company, in partnership with Hearst Communications.
Fox Sports, also referred to as Fox Sports Media Group, is the sports programming division of the Fox Corporation that is responsible for sports broadcasts carried by the Fox broadcast network, Fox Sports 1 (FS1), Fox Sports 2 (FS2), and the Fox Sports Radio network.
Michael Todd Tirico is an American sportscaster working for NBC Sports since 2016. He is also known for his 10-year run as an NFL play-by-play announcer on ESPN's Monday Night Football from 2006 to 2015. Tirico has called a multitude of sports in his career, including the NBA, NHL, college football and basketball, golf, tennis, and world cup soccer.
Telemundo Deportes is the programming division of the NBC Sports Group, owned by NBCUniversal, that is responsible for the production of sports events and magazine programs that air on NBCUniversal's Spanish language television networks Telemundo and Universo. Originating as the former's sports division Deportes Telemundo from 1999 to 2015, it broadcasts an array of sports events, including the association football matches from various international football leagues and the Olympic Games, among others.
Anti-siphoning laws and regulations are designed to prevent pay television broadcasters from buying monopoly rights to televise important and culturally significant events before free-to-air television has a chance to bid on them. The theory is that if such a monopoly was allowed, then those unable or unwilling to obtain access to the pay television service would be unable to view the important and culturally significant events. Generally the laws allow pay-TV to bid for such monopoly rights only if free-to-air television has declined to bid on them.
NHL on NBC is a presentation of National Hockey League (NHL) games that are produced by NBC Sports, and televised on NBC in the United States. While NBC has covered the league at various points in its history, the network's current relationship with the NHL is the result of NBC Sports acquiring the league's broadcast television rights from ABC in 2005. Its current contract with the league runs until the end of the 2020–21 NHL season; NHL broadcasting rights onward have been acquired by ABC/ESPN and Turner Sports.
NASCAR on NBC is the branding used for broadcasts of NASCAR races that are produced by NBC Sports, and televised on several NBCUniversal-owned television networks, including the NBC broadcast network in the United States. The network originally aired races, typically during the second half of the season, from 1999 to 2006.
The NHL on Versus was a presentation of National Hockey League (NHL) games broadcast on Versus. Versus became the NHL's cable partner in the United States beginning in the 2005–06 season from previous partner ESPN, providing coverage of regular season games, playoff games, and select games from the Stanley Cup Finals.
This article refers to Sports broadcasting contracts in Canada. For broadcasting rights lists of other countries, see Sports television broadcast contracts.
In the United States, sports are televised on various broadcast networks, national and specialty sports cable channels, and regional sports networks. U.S. sports rights are estimated to be worth a total of $22.42 billion in 2019, about 44 percent of the total worldwide sports media market. U.S. networks are willing to pay a significant amount of money for TV sports contracts because it attracts large amounts of viewership; live sport broadcasts accounted for 44 of the 50 list of most watched television broadcasts in the United States in 2016.
Golf Channel on NBC is the branding used for broadcasts of golf tournaments produced by NBC Sports in conjunction with Golf Channel, on the NBC television network in the United States. The network's coverage focuses mostly on the PGA Tour, but also includes major events not sanctioned by the tour, such as the U.S. Open, The Open Championship, and the Ryder Cup. NBC also airs some tournaments from other tours to which NBC Sports Group holds the television rights, notably the European Tour.
NBCSN is an American sports television channel owned by the NBC Sports Group division of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. It originally launched on July 1, 1995, as the Outdoor Life Network (OLN), which was dedicated to programming primarily involving fishing, hunting, outdoor adventure programs, and outdoor sports. By the turn of the 21st century, OLN became better known for its extensive coverage of the Tour de France but eventually began covering more "mainstream" sporting events, resulting in its relaunch as Versus in September 2006.
IndyCar Live is an American television program dedicated to the coverage of IndyCar racing and is broadcast by the American broadcaster NBC from 2012 onwards. The IndyCar Series on NBC is the branding used for telecasts of IndyCar Series races produced by NBC Sports, and televised by NBCSN in the United States. When the network began carrying the race broadcasts in 2009, the network introduced "IndyCar Non-Stop," featuring a format and appearance nearly identical to that of Side-By-Side.
NBC Sports is the sports division of the NBC television network. Formerly "a service of NBC News", it broadcasts a diverse array of programs, including the Olympic Games, the NFL, the NHL, Notre Dame football, the PGA Tour, the Triple Crown, and the French Open, among others. Assets currently include among others NBCSN, Golf Channel and NBC Sports Regional Networks.
Wednesday Night Hockey is the branding used for National Hockey League games that air on NBCSN on Wednesday nights during the regular season.
CBC's deal with the NHL ran through the 2013–14 season, and was replaced in 2014–15 by a sublicensing deal with Rogers Communications. The deal includes airings of games on the conventional over-the-air CBC Television network as well as carriage of those broadcasts through digital media, including CBCSports.ca. The deal came after controversy and discussion before and during the 2006-07 NHL season, when private broadcaster CTVglobemedia attempted to acquire exclusive Canadian distribution rights to the NHL for its own networks, including broadcast network CTV and cable channels TSN and RDS. Such a package, which would have left CBC without NHL hockey, would have increased TSN's previously existing coverage of NHL games; the attempt also came at a time when CTVglobemedia had outbid the CBC for Canadian television rights to the 2010 and 2012 Olympics, as well as the major television package for curling. Despite the rumours, it always seemed that CTV was unlikely to be interested in the nightly playoff coverage currently provided by the CBC, since weeknight games in April and May would conflict with new episodes of CTV's slate of American programming. As well, the title Hockey Night in Canada could not be used as the name is owned by CBC, unless CTVglobemedia were to pay royalties to CBC for use of the name. The current deal with CBC and Rogers maintains the 65-plus-year tradition of Hockey Night in Canada on CBC, but also allows Rogers to expand its coverage. A caveat of the deal limits CBC to the number of games per Canadian team it can show so that the seven Canadian-based teams, particularly the Toronto Maple Leafs, can distribute more games to regional carriers, thereby increasing the value of their local packages.
USA Sports was the sports division of the American cable television channel USA Network. USA Network has a longstanding history with sports, dating back to its existence as the Madison Square Garden Network. The 2007 Masters was also the final event for USA Sports, which was dissolved into parent NBC Sports after the tournament. All future sports telecasts on USA would use NBC's graphics and personalities.
On October 15, 2012, NASCAR and the Fox Sports Media Group (FSMG) announced a new $2.4 billion eight-year deal, a 30% increase from their previous deal. On July 23, 2013, NASCAR and the NBC Sports Group announced a new $4.4 billion ten-year deal. Ten days later on August 1, 2013, NASCAR and Fox extended and expanded their agreement, paying an additional $1.4 billion to do so, to complete NASCAR's new TV package through the 2024 season. NBC reportedly bid over 50% more than ESPN and Turner for their portion of the package, despite Turner and ESPN expressing interest about continuing their relationship with NASCAR.
On April 19, 2011, after ESPN, Turner Sports, and Fox Sports placed bids, NBC Sports announced it had reached a ten-year extension to its television contract with the NHL worth nearly $2 billion over the tenure of the contract. The contract would cover games on both NBC and sister cable channel Versus, which became part of the NBC Sports family as the result of Versus parent Comcast's controlling purchase of NBC Universal earlier in 2011.