NBC Sports used the “The Winter Classic” hockey game between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers to also officially announce the formation of their own sports network – the aptly named “NBC Sports Network.”
As Costas said it, I remember thinking, “Well…what took you so long?” After all, NBC Sports has a good a legacy as any other network. Notre Dame football, the first to air the Super Bowl, and, if I recall, thanks to the physical prowess of “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century” star Gil Gerard, didn’t they win “Battle of the Network Stars” more than once?
And then the camera panned to show the giant Comcast tower in downtown Philadelphia. “Ah, right,” I again said to myself (because nobody would watch the hockey game with me). “Comcast is the new majority owner of NBC. Comcast had the Versus network, and now that will become the new NBC Sports network.”We all know what we’re going to get from the network, too. Another Costas interview show in addition to his regular HBO’s “Inside the NFL” and “NBC’s Football Night in America” gig. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, either. A lot of people find him to be a bit smug, conceited and kind of arrogant and while he does use a lot of extraneous $40 dollar words during his shows, he’s a great interviewer and very knowledgeable. He asks the tough questions. Ask Jerry Sandusky about that.
And we’ll get hockey. And Notre Dame…lots and lots of Notre Dame.
Continuing my conversation with the voices in my head, I wondered why CBS didn’t have a “60 Minutes” network. MSNBC news is a collaboration between Microsoft and NBC (IBM declined to partner with another network at the time because they didn’t want to compete with their customers in an area outside of their “core competency.”) Why didn’t FOX have an animation network and why doesn’t ABC have their own networks? Turner Broadcasting did very well with their Cartoon Network.
Until I remembered that ABC has one or two small properties out there in the market, little niche networks that go by the name of Disney and ESPN. (Also, FOX just announced that they are indeed planning an animation network, they’re just waiting on the rebroadcast rights for The Simpsons. Doh!)
ESPN aside, can’t we take one of their channels, can’t we make ESPN “The Ocho” a “Wide World of Sports” branded network? Can we once again see rattlesnake-hunting championships, Evel Knievel and the thrill of victory so clearly expressed when Lee Majors beats Gabe Kaplan in the shot put?
Eh, who am I kidding? I would tune in just to watch the ski jumper’s epic fail each day.