Versus officially will turn into the NBC Sports Network on Jan. 2.
The name change, which has been rumored for much of the last year, is timed to coincide with NBC’s broadcast of the NHL Winter Classic and the run-up to NBC’s February telecast of Super Bowl XLVI.
“Our goal is for anyone who sees the name or logo of one of our assets to immediately connect with NBC Sports,” said NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus. He will officially announce the name change today at the Television Critics Association tour in Beverly Hills, Calif.
The regional sports networks also will keep their Comcast SportsNet names, though Lazarus said most of the channels’ on-screen graphics will evolve to eventually take on the look and feel of the NBC Sports Group.
As part of the Versus rebrand, the NBC Sports Group also is updating its logo, making its peacock larger and using new fonts for NBC Sports.
The first big sports event to feature the new NBC Sports logo will be the Jan. 2 Winter Classic, featuring the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers at Citizens Bank Park, followed by an NFL wild-card playoff game on Jan. 7.
“These rebranding efforts are a major step toward a complete strategic alignment of all our platforms and businesses,” Lazarus said.