We have the official press release from NBC Sports Group announcing the hiring of former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward as a football analyst. He’ll span the Group from NBC on Football Night in America to NBC Sports Network on college football and NBC SportsTalk.
Ward has been branching out beyond sports as he appeared on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and did quite well. So he has a name recognition outside of the sports world, but I don’t think he’ll be pulling a Tiki Barber and attempt to become a morning show personality.
Anyway, we have the press release from NBC Sports Group for you below.
Former Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Bowl WR and Super Bowl XL MVP to Serve as Analyst on NFL and College Football Coverage
NEW YORK – May 31, 2012 – Hines Ward, a four-time Pro Bowler who played 14 years for the Pittsburgh Steelers before retiring after the 2011 season, joins NBC Sports Group as an analyst across its NFL, college football and studio programming, it was announced today.
As part of the multi-year agreement, Ward will be a regular contributor to the critically- acclaimed Football Night in America; serve as an analyst every Saturday on NBC’s and NBC Sports Network’s college football studio programming with Liam McHugh and Doug Flutie; and will regularly appear on NBC SportsTalk with Mike Florio and Peter King to preview and recap the week in the NFL.
Ward, who appeared on NBC’s Super Bowl XLVI pre-game show, is a four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver and two-time Super Bowl champion. The Super Bowl XL MVP finished his stellar 14-year career with 1,000 catches for 12,083 yards and 83 touchdowns, all Steelers’ records.
“We think Hines is a perfect match for television because he brings with him a unique combination of charisma and football experience, which he demonstrated on our Super Bowl pre-game show from Indianapolis,” said Sam Flood, executive producer, NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network. “He’s an opinionated personality who can draw upon his 14 years of experience, having excelled at the highest levels of the game. Just don’t expect him to dance.”
“I am really excited! It’s not everyday that you get the chance to work for a powerhouse like the NBC Sports Group,” said Ward. “It is a big honor for me and I am looking forward to making the most of this great opportunity.”
MORE ON HINES WARD: Perhaps the greatest wide receiver in Steelers’ history and one of the best blocking wide receivers in NFL history, Ward owns every receiving record in Steelers franchise history: He is a two-time Super Bowl Champion, the MVP of Super Bowl XL, a four-time Pro Bowler, all-time Steleers leader in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns and he is the only receiver in Steelers history to surpass 1,000 receiving yards for four straight seasons. Ward was named to the Steelers’ 75th Season All-Time Team, and on New Years Day 2012, Ward became only the 8th player in NFL history to reach 1,000 career receptions on what would be his last catch ever as a Pittsburgh Steeler.
Off the field, Ward has been equally impressive as a man of character in his community both locally and worldwide. He was named the Steelers’ “2008 Walter Payton Man of the Year,” was featured as ABC’s “Person of the Week,” has met and befriended four world leaders (two U.S. Presidents and two Korean Presidents), has founded and drives his Helping Hands Foundations both in the U.S. and Korea, is active with numerous other foundations (The Caring Foundation, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Pearl S. Buck International), and has started his own after school education program for kids in his home state of Georgia.
Ward has been featured on the cover of numerous publications (Newsweek, Time Magazine, Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Moves Magazine, Whirl to name a few) and was featured as one of GQ’s 2009 “Men of the Year.” On May 24, 2011, dance-stepping far outside his comfort zone, Ward, along with his partner Kym Johnson, won season 12 of Dancing with the Stars. And 2012 has found Hines appearing as guest correspondent for the NFL Network’s Rich Eisen Podcast at the 84th annual Academy Awards catching up with the likes of George Clooney on the Red Carpet, as well as making his own movie debut as a member of the fictional Gotham Rogues football team in the Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises”.
Born on March 8, 1976 in Seoul, South Korea to a Korean mother and an African American father. Moving to the Atlanta area when Hines was just 1-year-old, he was raised by his single mom. Ward became a top scholar-athlete in Georgia, not only as quarterback at Forest Park High School, but also on the baseball diamond. He was drafted at the end of his senior year by the Florida Marlins, but chose to pursue football, going on to play college football at the University of Georgia where he starred at quarterback and tailback before being made a full-time wide receiver in his junior year.
He earned All-SEC honors is senior year and finished his college career as Georgia’s second all-time receiver with 144 receptions. His total yards of 3,870 ranked second in Bulldogs history to Herschel Walker. The Pittsburgh Steelers took him in the 3rd round as the 92nd pick overall.
Among Ward’s NFL accomplishments:
- Four-time NFL Pro Bowl selection (2001-2004)
- Two-time All-NFL team selections (2002-2003)
- Super Bowl XL MVP
- Two Super Bowl Championships (XL and XLIII)
- Four consecutive 1000 yard seasons (2001-2004)
- Six 1000 yard seasons overall (2001-2004, 2008-2009)
- Steelers franchise record holder for receptions (1000), receiving touchdowns (85), and receiving yardage (12,083)
- Ranked 8th all-time in receptions (1000) and 18th all-time in receiving yards (12,083) among NFL receivers
NBC has announced the hiring of former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward as an analyst. He’ll be part of Football Night in America on NBC, contribute to NBC Sports Network’s college football studio shows and also be seen on NBC SportsTalk.
This follows his guest stint during Super Bowl XLVI on NBC in February during which I thought he did a decent job along with current Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Ward retired from the Steelers after last season and leaves behind a stellar career that included a Super Bowl MVP, as well as four Pro Bowl appearances.
He becomes the third analyst to be hired by NBC to appear as a guest on the network’s Super Bowl coverage then to be hired for the following season. Rodney Harrison and Tony Dungy guested NBC’s Super Bowl XLIII pregame in 2009 and were hired shortly afterwards.
This announced late this afternoon that Erik Kuselias who as of last week was removed as co-host of Golf Channel’s Morning Drive, will now become the full-time host of NBC SportsTalk on NBC Sports Network. The show had been hosted by Russ Thaler formerly of Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic and I thought Russ did a pretty decent job of what he was asked. He is hosting MLS on NBC Sports Network and perhaps he’ll get another role at the network.
Russ did confirm to Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch that he still under contract with NBC Sports and expects to continue working with the company.
As for Kuselias, I’ve had my issues with his hosting and I’ve expressed them here recently. No need to rehash them.
Due to this move, I will no longer be recommending NBC SportsTalk in the Primetime & Late Night Viewing Picks. I’ve done this before as I’ve removed ESPN2′s First Take after Dana Jacobsen was taken off the show.
Anyway, here’s the announcement.
NBC SportsTalk Airs Weeknights Live at 6 p.m. ET
New York — May 18, 2012 — Erik Kuselias has been named the primary host of NBC Sports Network’s NBC SportsTalk. Kuselias has transitioned from Golf Channel’s Morning Drive to serve as the nightly host of NBC SportsTalk.
One of the NBC Sports Group’s most versatile hosts, Kuselias has covered the NFL, PGA, NASCAR, college football and fantasy football during his decade long career as a sports television and radio host.
“It’s great to have a versatile talent like Erik already within the NBC Sports Group family that can help make us better as we continue to grow the NBC Sports Network,” said Sam Flood, Executive Producer, NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network.
Most recently, Kuselias served as co-host of Morning Drive on The Golf Channel. Before arriving at NBC, Kuselias was the host of NASCAR Now on ESPN2 and The Erik Kuselias Show on ESPN Radio. He also previously hosted NFL on ESPN Radio during the NFL season, and served as a host for College Football Live. In addition, Kuselias hosted the Emmy-Award winning show Fantasy Football Now.
About NBC SportsTalk: NBC Sports Network’s flagship news and information show offers breaking news, highlights, features and in-depth analysis from award-winning journalists. NBC SportsTalk debuted on September 8, 2011 and airs from 6 –7 p.m. ET, depending on live sports programming. NBC SportsTalk features talent from across all NBC Sports Group platforms, including Peter King of Sports Illustrated and Football Night in America and Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk on NBCSports.com.
I have accumulated a lot of links today, but unfortunately, I won’t be able to get to them right now. I’ll save them for Tuesday, but I can get to a couple of sports media personnel moves. Lots of stuff to get to. This will be done in bullet form.
- It was broken earlier tonight by Jim Miller, the co-author of “Those Guys Have All The Fun: Inside the World of ESPN“:
Staying. @notthefakeSVP has just finished telling colleagues he has renewed his deal with ESPN.
— James Andrew Miller (@ESPNBook) May 14, 2012
And it was later confirmed by Scott Van Pelt himself:
Appreciate the interest and support here.Feel very fortunate to have gone through process but glad it’s over. Ultimately, ESPN is my home
— Scott Van Pelt (@notthefakeSVP) May 15, 2012
It’s a good move. SVP had a couple of suitors, NBC and Fox, but chose to stay where he’s most comfortable. Van Pelt has his radio show which he has enjoyed doing plus the early SportsCenters. While he could have left to go to NBC and return to his old stomping grounds of Golf Channel, ESPN is the best place for him. I told you throughout that I thought he would stay in Bristol and he did.
- Speaking of Golf Channel, the co-host of Morning Drive, Erik Kuselias is leaving the show and heading up the East Coast to become a host of NBC SportsTalk on sister network, NBC Sports Network. Stephanie Wei of the Wei Under Par golf blog had the story and some interesting gossip that I was not aware of. I’m not enamored with this move as I’m not enamored with Kuselias. He comes off as smug and pompous and I’m sure he’ll come off as smug and pompous on NBC Sports Talk. I’m not sure what anyone sees in him as he’s worked at ESPN on both radio and television, then moved to Golf Channel to launch its morning show with Gary Williams and Holly Sonders.
Kuselias was one of the subjects of A.J. Daulerio’s Scorched Earth Policy on ESPN in 2009 after he felt the network deliberately misled Deadspin on a couple of stories.
Anyway, it seems Kuselias will move back up north and make guest appearances on NBC Sports Talk. I don’t think NBC will use Kuselias to replace regular host Russ Thaler. At least I hope not.
- A couple of other ESPN notes, Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated reports that SportsCenter anchor and celebrated puckhead John Buccigross has reupped with ESPN:
Source tells me @Buccigross has also re-upped with ESPN. No doubt he’ll be fighting the good fight for NHL love at the Empire.
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) May 15, 2012
I’ve followed Buccigross since he was in Providence and felt he was very solid. He remains so to this day and along with Linda Cohn, continues to hold the torch for hockey at ESPN. Here’s hoping he’ll be back hosting the sport one day.
Richard also reported yesterday that Michelle Bonner is leaving.
Longtime ESPNNews/SportsCenter anchor Michelle Bonner and ESPN have parted ways. Another work-a-day, no-shtick anchor. Wish her well.
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) May 13, 2012
I liked Michelle. Too bad about her departure.
- Now that ESPN has decisions on Dana Jacobsen, Michelle Beadle and Scott Van Pelt, the network can now focus on its last major free agent, Erin Andrews. Look for her to remain with the network and keep her hosting position on College GameDay during college football season.
That is it for tonight.
NBC and the National Football League have announced that 2.1 million people watched the very first legal online stream of the Super Bowl this past Sunday. It marks the largest online audience for a sporting event. In 2011, the NFL announced it would allow NBC to stream Super Bowl XLVI. CBS had requested to stream Super Bowl XLIV two years ago, but the NFL turned it down.
NBC promoted the Super Bowl online as a companion to its over the air broadcast giving online viewers four extra camera angles.
Those watching on their computers noticed that the TV ads nor the Madonna halftime show were part of the online stream. And there were buffering issues as well as delays of up to 30 seconds compared to the TV broadcast. Even with those problems, both NBC and the NFL are declaring Sunday’s stream as asuccess.
We have the NBC press release.
Over Two Million Streamed Super Bowl XLVI
More than 78 Million Minutes Streamed
NEW YORK -– Feb. 7, 2012 –- The first-ever live stream of a Super Bowl in the United States attracted 2,105,441 users, making it the most-watched, single-game sports event ever online, according to data provided by Omniture and mDialog, surpassing any previously reported record. The live game stream was available on both NBCSports.com as well asNFL.com. NBC Sports’ live stream was also available on NFL Mobile only from Verizon. Yesterday, NBC Sports announced its broadcast coverage of Super Bowl XLVI was the most-watched television program in U.S. history (111.3 million viewers) and the highest-rated Super Bowl in 26 years (47.0 household rating)
“The Super Bowl XLVI live stream exceeded our expectations in every way. Increasingly, sports fans are looking to digital coverage as a complementary ‘second screen’ experience, and we delivered on that promise with unprecedented robust coverage,” said Kevin Monaghan, SVP, Business Development & Managing Director Digital Media, NBC Sports Group. “The record traffic that grew throughout the event, as well as the record high engagement numbers, underscores the complementary aspect of digital as an enhancement to our exceptional television coverage.”
“It was exciting to work with NBC Sports to offer fans the Super Bowl in more ways than ever before,” said Hans Schroeder, NFL, SVP, Media Strategy and Development. “The Super Bowl live stream was a tremendous success in its first year. We will continue to look for more ways to reach our fans.”
NBCSports.com‘s online streaming of Super Bowl XLVI featured HD-quality video, DVR controls and multiple camera angles along with social interactivity, including a live chat with Mike Florio from NBC’s ProFootballTalk, and tweets from Michele Tafoya, NBC Sports’ sideline reporter, and Jimmy Fallon, the host of NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Florio and commentator Randy Moss also supplied the halftime content for the live stream with a live video report and game analysis from just outside the team locker rooms. In addition to game highlights, viewers were also able to watch replays of popular Super Bowl TV commercials.
Online Traffic Data
Unique Users - 2,105,441 (live stream online)
Live Video Streams - 4,589,593 (live stream online)
Total Minutes Streamed - 78,624,422
On-Demand Clips - 1,838,812 VOD clips viewed
User-Generated Camera Switches - 1,835,676
Engagement - More than 39 minutes per visit.
That’s going to do it.
Just sent in from Comcast SportsNet, the local websites of the regional sports networks will be revamped to have them include a local version the NBC SportsTalk web platforms. And there will be local NBC Sports Talk programming integrated into the Comcast SportsNet affiliates in Boston, Mid-Atlantic, Chicago and the Bay Area.
Plus, where there are owned-and-operated NBC affiliates as is the case in Chicago, Washington and San Francisco, there will be synergy between both the local TV stations and the Comcast SportsNet channel.
So NBC Sports is further integrating the Comcast SportsNet affiliates into the Group’s umbrella. We’ll see if this means additional NBC Sports programming on each of the regional sports networks over the next few months.
Here’s the press release which comes from Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia.
Sites’ New Features Include Localized Versions of NBC Sports Talk
PHILADELPHIA (September 14, 2011) – Comcast Sports Group announced a comprehensive redesign of the digital platforms for the company’s regional sports networks. The new sites will feature the debut of localized versions of NBC Sports Talk integrated with the networks’ comprehensive local sports news, opinion and original commentary. CSNPhilly.com will re-launch in September with sites serving Baltimore, Washington, Northern California, Chicago and New England following in October.
Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia will launch the revamped CSNPhilly.com in September with the following highlights:
- Local versions of NBC Sport’s successful Talk franchise with Eagles Talk, Phillies Talk, Flyers Talk and Sixers Talk containing continually updated postings from CSNPhilly.com’s Insiders, columnists, staff writers and on-air talent
- The ability to customize the site to feature their favorite teams, writers and social networks
- Enhanced video playback
- Weather forecast and local news provided by WCAU-TV
Since 2010, Comcast Sports Group’s major local sites have each hired team-specific ‘Insider’ correspondents, launched mobile apps, and developed exclusive local online shows and other content. With these and other enhancements, the websites have delivered rapid traffic growth, including a 274% increase in unique visitors from August 2010 to July 2011, according to ComScore.
“Our networks, across multiple platforms, are providing the best local sports experience in the markets we serve,” said Comcast Sports Group Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer Eric Grilly. “The new localized ‘SportsTalk’ sites will leverage national NBC sports resources, including ProFootball Talk, Hardball Talk, ProBasketball Talk and ProHockey Talk, by highlighting content that is relevant to fans we serve locally in our markets. We are continuing to make the necessary investments and enhancements to solidify our leadership position and deliver the compelling, relevant and differentiated content that sports fans want.
More coming up later today.
I was in between offices yesterday and could not do the links as I had wanted. Let’s provide some now while I can.
Nate Davis at USA Today writes about ESPN extending the rights to air Monday Night Football and keep the series on cable through 2021.
The Hollywood Reporter notes that tonight’s Presidential jobs speech has forced the networks to change their schedules including NBC regarding tonight’s NFL season opener.
Marisa Guthrie of the Reporter talks about ESPN’s new MNF deal.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says ESPN is in position to air an NFL Wild Card Playoff game sometime in the future.
Adweek’s Anthony Crupi notes ESPN’s eight year NFL extension includes a whole host of digital rights.
Lucia Moses of Adweek says Sports Illustrated is tapping into younger readers’ appetites by going high-tech.
All Access notes that Boston’s sports radio WEEI announced an FM simulcast today.
Also from All Access, Fox Sports Radio nighttime host Tony Bruno is leaving to take a midday hosting job in Philadelphia.
It’s rare that I get a sports media story from Women’s Wear Daily, but I have one today. John Koblin of WWD talks with ESPN tennis courtside reporter Pam Shriver.
Hey, we link to Grantland! Jonah Keri writes that the Texas Rangers are positioning themselves to be an MLB power for the long-term thanks to its mega rights deal with Fox Sports Southwest.
Dan Fogarty of SportsGrid says The Onion’s online parody of ESPN’s Pardon The Interruption is everything its TV sports shows were not.
Timothy Burke at SportsGrid examines the new ESPN/Monday Night Football deal and what it really means.
Congrats to former Yardbarker Managing Editor Alana G. who has left the company and becomes Executive Producer for the San Francisco Chronicle’s website.
Brandon Costa of Sports Video Group writes that ESPN’s “SpiderCam”, the overhead camera providing spectacular shots at the U.S. Open has been added to the tournament’s world TV feed.
Karen Hogan of SVG notes that NBC is pulling out all of the technical stops for Sunday Night Football this season.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell writes that an injured Peyton Manning could cost fantasy players some money.
Darren says the University of Michigan has inserted an audio chip for this week’s game program for the Notre Dame contest.
Jorge Rivas at Colorlines says FoxSports.com has pulled the web series that made fun of Asian USC students not knowing football and also mocking their accents.
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe reviews the NFL Films documentary focusing on Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
Jessica Heslam of the Boston Herald says WEEI is ramping up for the next phase of its sports radio war with 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Ian Rapoport of the Herald has some interesting tidbits from the NFL Films Bill Belichick doc.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times looks inside the ESPN MNF deal.
Newsday’s Neil Best looks at the particulars of the ESPN Monday Night Football contract extension.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union reports on the Fox Sports Radio show that will replace Tony Bruno.
Pete notes that MSG Network will be New York Giants-heavy this fall.
Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner interviews Russ Thaler who goes from Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic to Versus as the host of NBC SportsTalk.
David Barron at the Houston Chronicle writes about the local college football ratings.
Bob Finnan of the News-Herald (OH) talks with Cleveland Browns radio voice and sports anchor Jim Donovan about returning to work after taking the summer off for a bone marrow transplant.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has CBS’ Phil Simms and Dan Dierdorf extolling the virtues of having a running game in the NFL.
Ed Sherman of Crain’s Chicago Business writes about Bears games being broadcast on FM for the first time this season.
Ed says the Chicago Tribune is bolstering the Bears beat.
Scott Dochterman at the Cedar Rapids (IA) Gazette says those who want to watch this Saturday’s Iowa-Iowa State game will have to do a little searching.
Robin Carlin at Mile High Sports says yesterday’s plane crash in Russia that killed all but two on board was truly a dark day for hockey.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily Herald likes the 9/11 commemorative football jerseys.
The Canadian Sports Media blog notes that Rogers is pulling out of the Canadian Olympics Broadcasting Consortium for the 2014/16 Games.
Joe Favorito says the BCS conferences might want to consider picking up one of the Service Academies.
And that’s going to do it for today’s linkage.
This in from the NBC Sports Group, the premiere of the new NBC SportsTalk shows will premiere tonight at 6 Eastern time on Versus. As previously mentioned, Mondays will be hosted by Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, then Tuesday through Thursday will utilize NBC’s other SportsTalk brands then Friday reverts to football again and we’ll see Darren Rovell’s sports business show on Fridays as well.
Tonight’s premiere will bring in the aforementioned Florio where he will join host Russ Thaler in-studio. They’ll be joined by the NBC Sports’ NFL crew live from Green Bay.
Let’s get the skinny on the premiere from NBC Sports Group and Versus.
First New Nightly Show Will Feature Mike Florio In-Studio and NBC Sports NFL Talent Reporting Live From Green Bay Prior to NFL Kickoff on NBC
NEW YORK (September 7, 2011) – VERSUS’ new live weeknight studio show, NBC SportsTalk, debuts tonight at 6 ET with the inaugural show focusing on the biggest news of the day – NFL Kickoff between the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints from historic Lambeau Field (NBC at 8:30 p.m. ET).
Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk on NBCSports.com will join host Russ Thaler in-studio and the pair will be joined via satellite from Green Bay by Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth and Football Night in America analysts Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison and Peter King (also from Sports Illustrated). The show will cover not only the first game of the season, but also all the news in and around the NFL.
The NBC Sports Group last week announced the block of new live studio shows for VERSUS airing on weeknights from 6-7 p.m. ET under the banner of NBC SportsTalk, NBC’s successful digital franchise on NBCSports.com that includes ProFootballTalk, HardballTalk, ProBasketballTalk, ProHockeyTalk, CollegeFootballTalk, InsidetheIrish and ProGolfTalk.
In addition to the new 6 p.m. shows, VERSUS, which will be re-branded the NBC Sports Network on January 2, will also launch a sports-business show with CNBC’s Darren Rovell, titled CNBC Sports Biz: Game On, on Friday nights at 7 p.m. ET, beginning on September 9.
The live block of shows will focus on the sports world’s most relevant topics each night and will include NBC Sports Group talent who will not only report on sports news, but will break down the significance of that news for viewers. Mondays (ProFootballTalk with Mike Florio) and Fridays (Peter King and Mike Florio) at 6 p.m. will be devoted to football, while the rest of the shows during the week will focus on the most topical sports stories.
And that will do it.
Versus To Air New Original Programming With Liam McHugh, Russ Thaler, Mike Florio and Darren Rovell As Hosts
This just in from the NBC Sports Group and I thank the fine people at its PR department for sending this press release to me. We’ve been hearing drips and drabs about Versus’ new original programming that will premiere in September. We heard about Liam McHugh hosting a college football studio show on Monday afternoons, a show headed by Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio and a Sports Business show to be helmed by CNBC’s Darren Rovell, plus last week, it was announced the first NFL Films-produced show, NFL Turning Point would premiere after Week 1 of the regular season.
Now, we have the official announcement of the lineups and the daily schedules of the programming. This is a huge upgrade from Versus’ other attempts to get a signature show. Under the “SportsTalk” banner, Versus will have College Football Talk and Pro Football Talk, hosted by Liam McHugh and Mike Florio, respectively, airing back to back Mondays starting at 5 p.m. Eastern.
Then from Tuesday through Thursday at 6 p.m. Eastern, you’ll have NBC SportsTalk hosted by Russ Thaler, formerly of Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, discussing various topics utilizing the men and women working under the NBC Sports Group. Wednesdays will be devoted to hockey in the second half of the NHL season.
Friday’s edition of NBC SportsTalk will be devoted to football and Florio and Sports Illustrated’s Peter King will join Thaler to talk about all things NFL.
And following NBC SportsTalk on Friday evenings will be the Darren Rovell-hosted show, CNBC SportsBiz: Game On. You got all that? Don’t worry, I have everything listed below.
NBC SportsTalk Airs Weeknights Live at 6 p.m. ET
CNBC Sports Biz: Game On with Darren Rovell Airs Fridays at 7 p.m.
Friday Night’s Live Football Show Features Peter King and Mike Florio
NBC SportsTalk to be Hosted by Comcast SportsNet’s Russ Thaler and Include Talent from all NBC Sports Group Platforms
NEW YORK (August 31, 2011) — The NBC Sports Group today announced a block of new live studio shows for VERSUS airing on weeknights from 6-7 p.m. ET under the banner of NBC SportsTalk, NBC’s successful digital franchise on NBCSports.com that includes ProFootballTalk, HardballTalk, ProBasketballTalk, ProHockeyTalk, CollegeFootballTalk, InsidetheIrish and ProGolfTalk.
In addition to the new 6 p.m. shows, VERSUS, which will be re-branded the NBC Sports Network on January 2, will also launch a sports-business show with CNBC’s Darren Rovell, titled CNBC Sports Biz: Game On, on Friday nights at 7 p.m. ET. VERSUS’ weeknight studio block launches on Thursday, September 8, leading into NBC’s NFL Kickoff coverage, featuring the first NFL game of the season between the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers.
“NBC SportsTalk is the type of nightly, relevant programming that viewers can expect to see as we continue the re-branding process from VERSUS to the NBC Sports Network,” said Jon Miller, president of programming for NBC Sports and VERSUS. “The live nightly shows also give us the opportunity to tap into our stable of top talent across all of our platforms to provide a unique perspective for sports fans.”
The live block of shows will focus on the sports world’s most relevant topics each night and will include NBC Sports Group talent who will not only report on sports news, but will break down the significance of that news for viewers. Mondays (ProFootballTalk with Mike Florio) and Fridays at 6 p.m. will be devoted to football, while the rest of the shows during the week will focus on the most topical sports stories.
NBC SportsTalk will be hosted by former Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic anchor Russ Thaler. He will be joined by talent from across all NBC Sports Group platforms, including Peter King of Sports Illustrated and Football Night in America and Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk on NBCSports.com for the special NFL-themed show on Friday nights.
CNBC Sports Biz: Game On – Rovell’s sports business show on Friday nights will focus on the $200 billion business of professional sports, including ownership, labor, media, sponsorship, marketing, merchandise, facilities and executives. The 30-minute show will feature segments such as: “Power Player,” where Rovell interviews sports business newsmakers; “The Scoreboard,” in which Rovell and his sideline reporter, Erin Sharoni, review the sports business winners and losers of the week; “Heavy Hitters,” in which Rovell calls up insiders to break down how one aspect of the business works. Rovell’s more than 115,000 Twitter followers will also play an active role in the show.
NBC SportsTalk – The 6 p.m. nightly shows will focus on various topics throughout the week with certain nights and times devoted to a single sport:
- MONDAY: Immediately following VERSUS’ newly announced College Football Talk show from 5-6 p.m. ET, the network begins the week with ProFootballTalk with Mike Florio. One of the NFL’s most influential voices, Florio will join Thaler in the studio for the hour to break down all the football news from the weekend. Once the NHL season begins, NBC SportsTalk will air from 6-6:30 p.m. ET, making way for NHL Live, the new half-hour pre-game show which begins at 6:30 p.m. ET.
- TUESDAY-THURSDAY: On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, NBC SportsTalk will break down the topics that are dominating the sports world and will enlist talent from all NBC Sports Group platforms to join Thaler, including commentators and reporters from NBC Sports, NBCSports.com, VERSUS, Golf Channel and NBC Sports Group’s 11 regional sports networks. On select Wednesday nights throughout the NHL season, the second half of the show will be dedicated solely to hockey.
- FRIDAY: NBC SportsTalk will wrap up the week with in-depth coverage of NFL news and will welcome one of sports’ most knowledgeable and respected NFL insiders, Peter King of Sports Illustrated and “Football Night in America,” to join Florio and Thaler. Additionally, Gregg Rosenthal of Rotoworld and ProFootballTalk on NBCSports.com will contribute a fantasy segment each Friday.
NEW VERSUS ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING THIS FALL (all times ET):
Monday, 5-6 p.m.: College Football Talk hosted by Liam McHugh with Ross Tucker and Roland Williams
Monday, 6-7 p.m.: NBC SportsTalk/ProFootballTalk with Mike Florio (6-6:30 p.m. beginning October 10)
Monday, 6:30-7 p.m.: NHL Live (beginning October 10)
Tuesday, 6-7 p.m.: NBC SportsTalk hosted by Russ Thaler
Wednesday, 6-7 p.m.: NBC SportsTalk hosted by Russ Thaler
Thursday, 6-7 p.m.: NBC SportsTalk hosted by Russ Thaler
Thursday, 10-11 p.m.: NFL Turning Point
Friday, 6-7 p.m.: NBC SportsTalk hosted by Russ Thaler with Mike Florio and Peter King
Friday, 7-7:30 p.m.: CNBC Sports Biz: Game On hosted by Darren Rovell
There you have it.