On January 18, 2011 the FCC and Department of Justice approved the merger of Comcast and NBC Universal. Eleven days later Comcast announced that it had officially taken control of NBC Universal from General Electric. Surely the long term effects of such a merger – between the largest cable/Internet provider with a major media and entertainment outlet – won’t be fully felt for many years.
What seems apparent is that consumers of sports television will eventually have a serious alternative to ESPN in nearly 20 years.
The recently formed NBC Sports Group, under the leadership of Chairman Dick Ebersol, will have the combined Comcast-NBCU assets as building blocks. Those building blocks include Versus, the Golf channel, Universal Sports, 14 regional sports networks (including CSN Washington) and NBC Sports.