NBC Sports Network launches Monday

In order to maintain some/any journalistic integrity, I probably should display a certain amount of detachment regarding the relationship between PFT and NBC.  But since I’m not a journalist and generally have no integrity, I made the decision months ago to embrace our role in the broader NBC Sports structure.

And so, in that vein, it’s time to mention that, on Monday, the switch officially will flip from VERSUS to NBC Sports Network.

Though the NBC Sports influence began to appear in large volumes earlier this year, the official name change has sparked plenty of interest.  Here’s hoping that translates to plenty of viewers.  (Or at least enough viewers to keep me from getting gonged by Jaye P. Morgan.)

As explained by Michael Hiestand of USA Today, the change will be made at 4:00 p.m. ET on Monday, as the Winter Classic on NBC hands the baton to the network soon to be formerly known as VERSUS for the post-game show.  Then, NBCSN will air a Cold War on Ice documentary telling the story of the NHL-Soviet Union hockey series from the 1970s.

Via Hiestand, Phil Esposito recalls one specific complaint about the frosty relationship:  “They stole our beer.  We had to drink homemade vodka.  You ever taste homemade vodka?  Go into your garage and get turpentine and drink it.”

Then, to chase your shot of turpentine, a special 90-minute edition of NBC SportsTalk gets started at 6:00 p.m. ET, with host Russ Thaler and Peter King and Rodney Harrison and the guy who’s hoping not to get gonged by Jaye P. Morgan.

These are exciting times for me personally.  Help make them a little more exciting by checking out NBC SportsTalk on Monday.

Sure, bowl games will be on.  But there will be plenty of NFL information that you’ll need to know, starting with the inevitable coaching firings that are coming on Monday, along with a look ahead toward next weekend’s playoff action.

26 responses to “NBC Sports Network launches Monday

  1. My opinions are not necessarily the popular opinions but I have enjoyed the experience of being part of the PFT planet and watching you guys grow and succeed. Congratulations are in order and I hope this post prompt you to censor me less. 😉

  2. Did anyone else see commercials for NBCSN on ESPN last weekend? NBC must’ve paid a king’s ransom for those ads. Glad the folks up in Bristol will have some competition now.

  3. Wow, I was wondering if we’d get this network, didn’t realize it would replace Vs. It’s nice to finally have a competitor to ESPN. Good luck!

  4. What’s the over/under on how many comments it takes for someone to call you a sellout or gripe that this is not football related? I’m guessing 1.5.

  5. Mike, I hope this channel can be a viable alternative to ESPN. The four letter network has become unwatchable. Schefter and Mortensen are good. The rest of it is hype and trash.

  6. Everyone should have the NBCSN. It is NBC re badging the Versus channel. I hope it’s all I expect it to be. Which is better than ESBM. Wait it hasn’t launched and I already like it better.

  7. Seems that if you currently receive Versus from your current cable provider, you’ll receive NBC Sports Channel on the same channel. Versus is owned by NBC/Comcast.

  8. I’m actually really excitd about this. I’ve been hoping for some competition against the mothership for awhile now. The good thing NBCSN will have going for it is the fact that it carries Hockey and that the actual channel NBC carries SNF. So it will definitely have some staying power.

    I love the NBC broadcast style of the SNF program. It carries a certain amount of glitz and they could get me excited about watching just about any game–like a Cleveland and St. Louis game…..well maybe up until they actually played the game I guess.

    I hope NBCSN will offer me something a little broader than the constant barrage of the flavor of the day, or the non-stop-non-breaking-breaking news from Ed Werder in front of Tony Romo’s house reporting on the latest dump that Romo took. Everything I’ve seen has impressed me so far. Turning point is a great show. Sports Talk is great as well.

    I’d really like to see a “Sportscenter” type show that is actually like Sportscenter USED to be… you know–when they actually used to show ALL the highlights from ALL the games?!?!?!

    Best of luck!

  9. I hope they have the integrity to not refer to grown men as “R-G 3” and “Megatron” …

    They just play football.

  10. You’ve come a long way, in a short time with NBC, Mike.

    No longer are you that West Virginia hillbilly lawyer with a web-cam in your basement, traveling in a beat up ’68 Micro Bus.

    You are sitting between Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, Peter King, and other football luminaries ……. and having your opinion being listened to SERIOUSLY. They’re putting make-up on your mug and you’re getting real honest-to-God haircuts these days.

    You done good, Mike.

  11. jfd117 says:
    Dec 30, 2011 10:52 AM
    Phil Esposito played for Canada, not the US.

    He didn’t say Espo played for the U.S., he said the documentary was about the NHL playing the Russians, which Espo played in.

  12. Why would anybody actually watch a bunch of foreigners skating around and hitting each other with sticks when this is STILL football season?

  13. I know most won’t care, but will the rebranded NBC channel still carry hunting and fishing shows like VS? I really hope so, #s for outdoorsmen decline each year, and kids get rounder and better at video games. .02/

  14. People love hockey because the players never dog it on the ice. You get full effort from them. There are bumper stickers around the Northeast that state “Smart kids play hockey”. It is true.

  15. Comcasr had originally named the channel Outdoor Life Network -OLN. Or as Kornheiser used to call it “The Bicycle Network”. Main sports for OLN was Tour de France and the Pamlona run of the bulls.

  16. In the past 6 months I’ve been tuning into Versus as much as “The Mothership” as Dan Patrick calls the Bristol organization.
    Quite frankly, the presentation is much more straightforward without all the gratuitous back-slapping and “gee, aren’t we great” that “The Mothership” provides.
    They also have a wide variety of outdoors programming which is so much more refreshing than watching what the latest happenings are with the Jets and the Yankees and LaBron and Kobe which “The Mothership” folks drive in our heads over and over and over and over and BARF!
    If you watch “The Mothership” enough you would never know there are professional sports franchises in places like Kansas City, Phoenix, etc., anywhere except New York, LA, and the large markets who have winners.

  17. I’m there! the NFL and NHL do it for me.

    This new/re-branded network could be a great thing, just stay the heck away from College Hoops and the NBA, Zzzzzzzz.

  18. I know that network gets plugged often here and NBC has had some real duds of tv shows latey but I’m pulling for you guys to put ESPN out of business. Hey one can always dream right?

  19. With this rebranding the cable companies are dumping Universal Sports Network, it belongs to DirecTV now. My question, since NBC owns Universal, will their new VS. home bring the World Cup Skiing and Cycling over to NBC Sports? With the loss of Universal, a lot of sports fans are S.O.L. I for one am not impressed yet with the new NBC lineup of shows on the VS. channel with nothing but Fishing, NHL and NFL. Looks like I’ll have to cave and give up digital for DTV.

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