While Comcast and NBC Universal have agreed on a mega-deal, the future of sports for NBC is up in the air. As the nation’s largest cable operator with 24 million subscribers, Comcast inherits channels like Golf Channel, Versus, and NBC Sports. This deal is just in time for Comcast to cash in on the 2010 Winter Games up in Vancouver, a perfect storm for their coming out party.
Comcast must figure out how to make these sports channels more popular. Versus, while their fans are devout to sports like the NHL, cycling, and rodeo, needs to be revamped in order to create a special niche. If recent channels serve as market studies, the NFL Network and ESPNU are highly successful because they feature things that normal cable or satellite providers do not carry. Sure there is the NHL Network but only die-hard NHLers watch that and purchase the sports packages. Comcast has to come up with innovative ideas to make people want to watch the NHL or the Tour de France. The upcoming Tour de France featuring Lance Armstrong’s new team boasts a great opportunity for them.
Also, Comcast should get rid of carrying Notre Dame football. This is a waste of money and a waste of three prime hours on Saturdays. Notre Dame is not what they used to be and the money and time is better spent somewhere else. Why not feature the military teams like Air Force or Navy? Not only are they successful but they also symbolize America as a country. It would also make these schools appealing to go not only to serve their country, but also a chance for more exposure.
Comcast has been buying up regional networks recently but the real money is to be made nationally. You can’t make millions on the Pittsburgh Fox Sports network, but you can if the Penguins go all the way and win the Stanley Cup while carrying it on NBC.
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