Pour one out for the former Outdoor Life Network.
Sure, the headlines might say that NBC is shutting down the NBC Sports Network, and moving NHL and NASCAR coverage to USA Network, but we all really know what NBCSN is: the final incarnation of OLN, the network you never knew existed unless you were a Tour de France fan.
When they picked up the hockey rights, Outdoor Life Network was no more, quickly becoming simply OLN...
...and then Versus…
...before finally becoming NBCSN in 2012.
It’s good for the major properties that they’ll be able to get more eyeballs on USA than they have on NBCSN, which even after nearly a decade with that name, has struggled to get itself in sports fans’ consciousness.
It also stinks because NBC absolutely is going to put more sports on its Peacock streaming service and make people pay extra money for stuff that, up until now, they’ve been getting with their cable packages. And gone will be getting weirdly sucked into a show about car auctions because you had the hockey playoffs on TV the night before, and that’s what was on when you turned the TV back on.
But with hockey moving from NBCSN to USA, we do have one request: call up the folks at ESPN and finally make the trade: the use of “Roundball Rock” for Disney’s NBA games (Fox is using it for college now, and it just hits wrong) for the old “National Hockey Night” theme from the 1990s.
Oh, and bring back the Nordiques, too.