In a long-anticipated rebranding of its 24-hour regional sports cable networks, Comcast Corp. says it will do away with the Comcast SportsNet name in Philadelphia and other Comcast cities and replace it with “NBC Sports” on Oct. 2.
Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia — which televises the Phillies, Flyers, and 76ers — will be called NBC Sports Philadelphia. There will be no other changes in postgame programming. In addition, TCN in Philadelphia, formerly the Comcast Network, will be renamed the NBC Sports Philadelphia.
The media giant has been leaning toward this switch since 2011 when it acquired NBCUniversal and folded the Comcast regional sports networks in Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington, Boston, San Francisco, and Portland, Ore., into the New York-based entertainment conglomerate.
The brand realignment now puts the NBC sports networks on a similar media footing as the Fox sports networks that also are scattered all around the United States. The change allows the national and regional TV audiences to watch the Comcast-owned networks branded with the same name.
NBCUniversal also owns and televises the over-the-air NBC broadcast-TV network and the 24-hour cable sports NBCSN network.
“We’re excited to complete the brand evolution of our remaining [regional sports networks], which will now include the iconic NBC Sports name on all of our networks,” said David Preschlack, president of NBC sports regional networks in New York. “This development is a reaffirmation of our continued commitment to provide the best, most compelling local sports coverage to our fans across the country.”
In April, Comcast rebranded the regional CSN networks in San Francisco and Sacramento, Calif., as NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California, respectively. This cleared the way for the name changes at the other networks. Regional sports networks are among the most expensive cable channels for consumers.
TCN has aired more sports in recent years as it has sought to boost its Philadelphia TV audience. The network televises regional college basketball and football games, the Union soccer games, and some Phillies, Flyers, and Sixers games.