NEW YORK – In the latest example of NBCUniversal and former Comcast assets working together more closely and sharing resources, regional sports network Comcast SportsNet Bay Area will in June begin producing the sports news and other sports programming for the NBC TV station affiliate in San Francisco.
The regional sports network became part of the NBC Sports Group as part of the acquisition of a majority stake in NBCUniversal by cable giant Comcast.
The Bay Area model could be a test of synergies for four other major markets – New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington – where NBCUniversal now owns a regional sports channel and a TV station. Asked if the Bay Area model could be rolled out to those markets, a regional sports network spokesman said: “We’ll look at each market on a case by case basis.”
The Bay Area station, Channel 11, and network said on Wednesday that the partnership will “significantly” improve the quality of local TV sports coverage for Bay Area viewers and make it more comprehensive. It is also expected to create several new positions and is not anticipated to result in job cuts as the affiliate station currently has no sports anchor, and its sports producers will work on other NBC station production.
Comcast SportsNet, which says it has the area’s largest sports news team, state-of-the-art facilities and good access, will provide live daily sports news segments for NBC Bay Area that will be seamlessly included in the station’s 6pm and 11pm newscasts.
Weekly NFL post-game analysis, a series of local sports documentaries and magazine shows set to air monthly on weekend evenings are also planned as are special programs that will cover Bay Area sports figures and preview and review seasons.
The two TV businesses began a partnership in 2008 that has used Comcast SportsNet production resources for live San Francisco Giants telecasts.
“The Bay Area has eight professional franchises, six Division I college teams and millions of passionate, loyal fans,” said Richard Cerussi, NBC Bay Area president and general manager. “This is one of the country’s greatest sports markets, and the partnership between our two organizations will enable NBC Bay Area to bring our audience more sports content and coverage than ever before.”
As part of the partnership, the two TV outlets are constructing a set in Comcast SportsNet’s 37,000 square-foot HD studios in downtown San Francisco. Sports news content on NBC Bay Area’s newscasts will incorporate Comcast SportsNet brand elements.