NBC Will Reportedly Shut Down NBCSN by the End of 2021, Moving NHL to the USA Network

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NBC Will Reportedly Shut Down NBCSN by the End of 2021, Moving NHL to the USA Network

Chicago Blackhawks

Well, this is pretty shocking – and not particularly great news for the industry as a whole. But earlier this afternoon, reports began trickling out that NBC has begun to tell their distributors/partners that they intend to shut down the NBC Sports Network by the end of 2021.

The plan is to place major sporting events and leagues such as the NHL and NASCAR on the USA Network.

Here’s a little more from John Ourand at the Sports Business Journal:

The big question is how a league like the NHL reacts to the shutting down of a network that has carried its games for the past 15 years. The NHL’s deal with NBC ends after this season. The NHL has made it clear that it wants to split its rights between at least two TV outlets. NBC has told the NHL that it would carve out regular windows on its broadcast channel and USA Network, which is in 86.2 million homes, plus Peacock.

NBCSN had served as the home of the NHL on a national scale since it took over the Versus Network (RIP) during the 2011-2012 season.

The broadcasting rights contract between the NHL and NBCSN is set to expire at the end of the 2021 season, and offers from other major networks like FOX and ESPN have already been rumored. It’s possible that the NHL remains with the USA Network beyond this season, if a partnership is also reached with NBC’s streaming service, Peacock. More details are still to come on what the move will mean for the NHL and for those employed with NBCSN.

Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.