This week, it was formally announced that the U.S. sports channel Versus is to be relaunched as the NBC Sports Network at the beginning of next year. Versus has its origin in the Outdoor Life Network (OLN), a channel launched in 1995 and originally dedicated to outdoor activities such as fishing, hunting, wilderness and outdoor sports. A Canadian version of the Outdoor Life Network launched in 1997.
When the American counterpart started turning itself into a sports channel, and eventually changed its name to Versus, the Canadian channel stayed with the action/adventure format. This probably mostly due to CRTC regulations that force specialty channels to stay somewhat committed to whatever format they had when they first launched.
As a result, the OLN name is still used in Canada. The Canadian channel also continued using the OLN logo from 2005, that turned out to be the last one used by the American channel before it became Versus. That logo was finally retired earlier this year.
|OLN logo from 2005.|
The previous logo was first introduced in the United States in July 2005, and came to Canada a few months later. It was credited to Bird Design in Los Angeles, who also created the logo for Versus when it replaced the American OLN.
I can't find any media reports or press releases about the new look, but based on posts on forums and OLN's social media profiles and press pages, the new look was certainly around by April, and probably launched in early April or late March.