Ever since Comcast's takeover of NBC Universal was cleared, there has been an expectation that Comcast's basic cable sports channel Versus would be rebranded to use the "NBC Sports" name. In June, this blog was stupid enough to forward speculation that the rebrand was "imminent". As it turns out, it wasn't that imminent, but, as of yesterday it is at least official.
Because on August 1, it was announced that Versus was to be rebranded as the NBC Sports Network on January 2, 2012. The hope is to turn what was once known as the "Outdoor Life Network" into a new force in American sports broadcasting, that can compete with ESPN.
|Current NBC Sports logo.|
At the same time, NBC Sports unveiled a new logo which is also scheduled to be implemented from January 2. It is essentially a redesigned version of the current NBC Sports logo wih new typefaces and a more balanced layout. It will be used both for sports on the NBC broadcast network and for the new cable channel, the latter with the addition of the word 'network' underneath.
The official press release provides more information on the logo change:
A new NBC Sports logo will also be implemented on January 2. The new logo features an evolutionary design that maintains the equity of the classic NBC Sports logo, while signaling something new. Changes include:
“The re-brand effort afforded us the opportunity to modernize the NBC Sports logo,” said John Miller, Chief Marketing Officer, NBCUniversal Television Group and head of the NBC Sports Agency. “The changes are subtle, but signal a big change: a new beginning for the NBC Sports Group.”
- The Peacock is slightly larger.
- The letters “NBC” are still bold but have a new font which puts them in balance with the Peacock.
- “Sports” maintains its scripted feel, but features a new hand-lettered font exclusively created for NBC Sports.
- Previously “Sports” was on an angle, but it has been straightened to allow for “Network” to fit easily beneath it and to accommodate the on-air design of commonly used sports tickers.
|New NBC Sports Network logo.|
This announcement is the latest event in a brand alignment process that has taken place since the NBCUniversal and Comcast merger. NBC's golf broadcasts were quickly renamed "Golf Channel on NBC" after the merger, and Versus.com was redirected to NBC Sports in April. The NBC Sports Group also includes Comcast's regional sports networks, most of them branded as "Comcast Sportsnet", but they are reportedly not yet scheduled for a rebrand.
|The Versus logo.|
The Versus logo was created by Bird Design in Los Angeles for the relaunch in 2006.
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