NBC Sports Washington is an American regional sports network that is owned by NBCUniversal and Monumental Sports & Entertainment, and operates as an affiliate of NBC Sports Regional Networks. Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, the channel broadcasts regional coverage of sports events throughout the Mid-Atlantic United States, with a focus on professional sports teams based in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., as well as sports news and entertainment programming.
NBC Sports Washington is available on approximately 25 cable providers throughout Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, as well as parts of Delaware, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and West Virginia; it is also available nationwide on satellite via DirecTV and Dish Network. The channel reaches more than 4.7 million households in the Mid-Atlantic region.
The network was launched as Home Team Sports (HTS) on April 4, 1984. Originally owned by Westinghouse Broadcasting, it was one of the first regional sports networks in the United States. In 1990, HTS became an affiliate of the Prime Network.
In 1996, the network was folded into CBS Cable, a cable television division formed through Westinghouse's merger with CBS. Along with most of its sister networks, in 1997, the channel became an affiliate of Fox Sports Net, a group of regional sports networks formed the previous year through News Corporation's partial acquisition of Prime through a joint venture with that network's parent Liberty Media. News Corporation subsequently purchased a 34% ownership interest in HTS. CBS Corporation, which remained majority owner, eventually merged into Viacom in 1999, in a deal worth $91 billion.
Shortly after Viacom completed its merger with CBS, on June 10, 2000, Viacom announced that it would sell Home Team Sports and Minneapolis-based regional sports network Midwest Sports Channel. One month later on July 11, Comcast agreed to acquire a 75% ownership stake in HTS and the Midwest Sports Channel from CBS, in a deal worth approximately $150 million. News Corporation, which wanted to acquire full ownership of both networks, filed a lawsuit ten days later on July 21 in an attempt to block the sale of MSC and Home Team Sports.
On September 7, 2000, as part of a settlement between the two companies, Comcast traded its equity interest in Midwest Sports Channel to News Corporation in exchange for sole ownership of Home Team Sports. The transaction was completed seven months later in mid-February 2001. The channel was relaunched as Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic on April 4, 2001, exactly seventeen years after the network's original launch. The channel continued to carry national programming supplied by Fox Sports Net after the sale.
In 2010, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic split its website into two regional websites, and rebranded them as "Comcast SportsNet Baltimore" and "Comcast SportsNet Washington". While the websites were rebranded, the network still maintains a singular feed that is transmitted throughout its entire coverage area. 5 years later, CSN Mid-Atlantic consolidated the two regional websites back together again as CSNMidAtlantic.com.
In September 2012, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and its sister Comcast SportsNet outlets ceased carrying Fox Sports Networks-supplied programming, after failing to reach an agreement to continue carrying FSN's nationally distributed programs.
In October 2016, CSN Mid-Atlantic announced that it would extend its broadcast rights to the Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards through a long-term deal with the teams' owner, Monumental Sports & Entertainment. As a result, Monumental Sports & Entertainment took an equity stake in the network, while NBCUniversal took an equity stake in the Monumental Sports Network—an over-the-top subscription service focusing on other teams owned by the company.
Comcast rebranded the network as NBC Sports Washington on October 2, 2017, as part of a larger rebranding of the Comcast SportsNet networks under the NBC Sports brand.
Live game coverageEdit
NBC Sports Washington televises more than 500 live professional and collegiate sporting events per year. The network holds the exclusive regional cable television rights to the NHL's Washington Capitals and the NBA's Washington Wizards – airing all games that are not nationally exclusive – as well as the Washington Mystics of the WNBA and the Chesapeake Bayhawks of Major League Lacrosse. The network formerly held the television rights to the Virginia Destroyers of the United Football League, broadcasting the team's games from 2011 until the UFL folded in 2012. D.C. United of Major League Soccer had its games televised by CSN Mid-Atlantic from the team's first season in 1996 until 2015, after which the team signed a multi-year deal with Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned WJLA-TV and NewsChannel 8.
The network also serves as the official cable partner of the NFL's Washington Redskins, holding the rights to televise the team's preseason games; until the consummation of the 2012 merger between NBC and Comcast, which placed Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and NBC owned-and-operated station WRC-TV (channel 4) under common ownership, games broadcast on WRC-TV were transmitted in 480i standard definition to provide high-definition exclusivity for the regional network. After the merger, both WRC and CSN Mid-Atlantic carry Redskins games in HD.
NBC Sports Washington also maintains the regional television rights to the Atlantic Coast Conference and Colonial Athletic Association, and broadcasts numerous men's and women's college sporting events sanctioned by those conferences, often featuring the Virginia Tech Hokies and Virginia Cavaliers. The network also carries college sports events from Conference USA, the Pac-12 Conference and the Big 12 Conference distributed by Fox Sports Networks.
News and entertainment programmingEdit
NBC Sports Washington produces news, analysis, opinion and entertainment programs focusing the region's sports landscape. The network also features special pre-game and post-game shows, as well as numerous specials and original programs:
- Redskins Nation – Hosted by Redskins radio voice Larry Michael, the program is dedicated exclusively to covering the Washington Redskins; the half-hour program airs weekdays at 5:30 and 11:30 p.m.
- 106.7 The Fan's Sports Junkies – Television simulcast of the WJFK-FM morning drive radio show; the program airs live from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
- Sports Talk Live - A half-hour program featuring a mix of discussions, interviews and feature stories that cover all aspects of the area's sports scene; hosted by former NFL running back Brian Mitchell
- SportsNet Central - The network's flagship program; a daily half-hour news program covering sports headlines and game highlights from across the region, similar to ESPN's SportsCenter
Anchors and reportersEdit
- Phil Chenier
- Julie Donaldson
- Michael Jenkins
- Brian Mitchell
- Dave Johnson
- Joe Beninati – play-by-play announcer
- Craig Laughlin – color commentator
- Al Koken – studio host
- Alan May – "Inside-the-Glass" reporter
- Brent Johnson – studio analyst
NBC Sports Washington PlusEdit
NBC Sports Washington Plus (formerly the Comcast Network) is an overflow channel of NBC Sports Washington, which broadcasts select sports events that cannot be carried on the main channel due to a concurring live event. NBC Sports Washington Plus is carried by DirecTV, and on most cable providers throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.
- ↑ Judd Zulgad (May 12, 2000). BROADCAST SPORTS; Local teams could be interested in buying MSC.(SPORTS). Retrieved on April 9, 2015.
- ↑ Kenneth Bredemeier. "Viacom Puts HTS Network on the Block", May 5, 2000. Retrieved on April 9, 2015.
- ↑ Mark Guidera. "Comcast to buy HTS sports channel", July 12, 2000.
- ↑ Eric Fisher. "Purchase of HTS Continues Comcast's Foray into Area Sports", July 12, 2000. Retrieved on April 9, 2015.
- ↑ Judd Zulgad (July 12, 2000). Comcast agrees to buy MSC; Announced deal appears to be a setback for Fox Sports Net.(SPORTS). Retrieved on April 9, 2015.
- ↑ Linda Moss (July 24, 2000). Fox Sports Net Suing to Block HTS Sell-Off.(Home Team Sports)(Brief Article). Retrieved on April 9, 2015.
- ↑ Judd Zulgad. "BROADCAST SPORTS; Fox Sports' agreement to acquire MSC now final.(SPORTS)", September 8, 2000. Retrieved on April 9, 2015.
- ↑ Kristine Henry. "Nevins leaves PR post for presidency of HTS", March 3, 2001.
- ↑ "HTS now Comcast SportsNet, adding sports news coverage", April 4, 2001.
- ↑ John Ourand. "NBC Sports Group Drops FSN Programming From Comcast RSNs", Advance Publications, August 14, 2012. Retrieved on April 9, 2015.
- ↑ Capitals, Wizards announce new long-term partnership with CSN Mid-Atlantic. Retrieved on 21 January 2017.
- ↑ NBC Sports Regional Networks to align CSN and TCN properties under 'NBC Sports' brand. NBC Sports Regional Networks (August 23, 2017). Retrieved on August 23, 2017.
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