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Report: NBC to shut down NBCSN channel by year's end

NBC will shut down its NBC Sports Network

NBC will shut down its NBC Sports Network by the end of 2021, a report said. Credit: AP/Bebeto Matthews

NBC has been telling leagues and distributors it plans to shut down its NBCSN sports channel by the end of this year, Sports Business Journal reported on Friday.

The move had been rumored in recent months, in part as a way of consolidating cable channels, in part to fuel the growth of NBC’s new "Peacock" streaming service.

NBC’s decision has major implications for the NHL, whose games mostly appear on NBCSN and whose current deal with the network expires after this season.

Sports Business Journal reported that NBC has told the NHL it would show its games on USA Network, which it owns and which is in more homes than NBCSN, as well as on NBC’s main broadcast channel and on Peacock.

NBCSN has had a complicated history since launching in 1995 as the Outdoor Life Network, later becoming Versus and finally NBCSN after NBC bought the channel.

Regardless of NBC’s plans for the NHL, its new deal likely will include more than one media entity. It already has a deal with the streaming service ESPN+.

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