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Peacocks change Versus' colors

I don't understand how the Coliseum referendum knocked this off Newsday's front page, but the other big news Monday was that NBC will change the name of Versus to NBC Sports Network, effective Jan. 2.

When I first started on the beat, the channel was called OLN  after previously being called Outdoor Life Network, then it changed to Versus. Now this.

It was inevitable after Comcast (which owns Versus) bought NBC, and it makes great sense from a branding perspective.

The big change was timed to coincide with big events early in 2012 such as the NHL Winter Classic Jan. 2 and the Super Bowl in February.

It also features a slightly modified NBC Sports logo!

More important than the name of the channel, of course, is what will be on it. Comcast is expected to be an aggressive player in the sports rights business as it seeks to enhance Versus' current profile.

If the NFL expands its Thursday night slate for 2012, as expected, NBC Sports Network presumably will make a strong bid for it to help extend the channel's distribution - and increase its monthly subscriber fees.

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