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Where to find the NBC Sports Network channel

by Jack Berkins on August 12, 2012

If you recently stumbled upon the NBC Sports Network, you might be wondering how and when it popped into your programming lineup. Launched in 2011, it’s a relative newcomer to the sports world. Originally the Outdoor Life Network, it evolved into Versus and slowly transitioned into more mainstream sports until NBC Universal (and Comcast) decided to give it the full backing and branding of NBC. Here’s a bit more on its history and where you can find it:

Outdoor Life Network – Before the turn of the century, OLN was a favorite channel of mine. It consisted of a bunch of fishing, hunting and general outdoor shows. If you were a fan of big game fishing or other outdoor “sports”, there was quite a bit of fun programming available. It ended up having a pretty successful run of about 10 years then they started to feature a lot more sports and associated programming; soon thereafter, Versus was born…

Versus – starting in 1999, OLN/Versus was the primary home of the Tour de France. They showed nearly every stage and did a solid job of covering a difficult-to-follow event (aerial shots, international back stories, blood doping controversies, etc). During that stretch, Lance Armstrong was the talk of the sport and going after his eventual 6 straight titles. Well, the channel grew with Lance and after drawing a consistently large audience, NBC and co. decided to go more mainstream and purchase the rights to various sporting events, short and long-term. Soon, there was a fairly large mix of Major League Soccer, Lacrosse, UFC (probably their biggest draw), tennis and much more available. By any measure, they were gaining major traction with TV providers and audiences alike and were ready to go big time…

NBC Sports Network – in January 2012, the NBCSN was officially broadcast live. Their first order of business was to position themselves as a reputable channel for sports coverage AND news. They’re well on their way with the former, but in many ways, still working on building their news wing. Every couple months, they seem to be trying to launch a new show dedicated to the in-depth reporting of a major sport (UFC, MLB, etc). It’ll take some time gain a consistent (and loyal) following, but we are talking about NBC, so expect it to happen. On the coverage side, they’ve already had a few big scores: as of this writing, their major contracted sports now include the National Hockey League (major win), College Hockey and Major League Soccer. To boot, if you spent any time watching the 2012 London Olympics, you probably ran across the channel. It featured a ton of events, mostly live and unedited. That’s the beauty of a secondary channel (just ask ESPN): more time to dedicate to the pregame, the entire event and post-game commentary. It’s a recipe for success and the NBC Sports Network is certainly off to a good start.

Where to find the NBCSN
Depending on your provider, here’s where you can find the channel (in all cases, it’s available in SD and HD):
DIRECTV: 603 (HD/SD)
DISH: 159 (HD/SD)
AT&T Uverse: 640 (SD), 1640 (HD)
Verizon FiOS: 90 (SD), 590 (HD)

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