The cable sports network previously known as the Outdoor Life Network will now also previously be known as Versus, and be currently known as NBC Sports Network. This is all a result of the purchase of NBC Universal by Comcast, and an attempt to merge the two companies’ sports infrastructure. According to The Hollywood Reporter the name change will go into effect on January 2nd.
Over the years as Versus, known primarily for NHL Hockey and Tour de France coverage, the network has greatly improved, and actually was doing some quality program delivery. NBC Sports already has the rights to many of the premier events in sports, including the Olympics and Sunday Night Football. The combination of these two enterprises will strengthen the programming Versus offers, while providing a tool for NBC to offer expanded coverage off of the parent NBC network.
Now this won’t put the new NBC Sports Network on the level with any of the ESPNs (ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN 8 – The Ocho), but it will give it a solid boost to compete with FSN and the like. The fact the Comcast owns it and it will have many NBC flagged products, it should also expand availability of the new network, and eliminate the knock on it that you can’t find it on your TV. As a side note, I can’t find it on my TV, but that’s because I don’t have cable.