Comcast-NBC tout team coverage of sporting events
By Lewis Lazare Media & Marketing Columnist firstname.lastname@example.org February 15, 2011 7:30PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
With Comcast’s acquisition of NBC Universal now a done deal, look for a closer relationship to begin to emerge between WMAQ-Channel 5 and sports cable channel Comcast SportsNet Chicago.
Over the past several years CSNC has become an increasingly popular destination for cable TV sports fans in the Chicago market, largely because of its steady diet of high-profile sports content. Much of that content is focused on airing games and programming related to four professional sports teams — the Chicago Bulls, Blackhawks, Cubs and White Sox — that are majority owners of the local sports cable channel.
Sources at both CSNC and WMAQ say talks have just begun about what may be possible, and any substantive developments are expected to come months from now. But already Comcast SportsNet Chicago president James Corno said the sports cable channel is running promos identifying the station as part of the NBC Sports family.
Further down the line, more synergies could be realized, including sharing of programming and talent.
“We have to sit down and talk with our counterparts at WMAQ and at the corporate level about how we can best maximize the benefits of this new relationship,” said Corno, who emphasized that the in-depth discussions have not really taken place yet.
But sources point to the close relationship that has developed between the ABC network and its sports-focused sibling ESPN as a possible template for the kind of partnership that could come between NBC and Comcast SportsNet in both local markets and at the network level.ABC, for example, often carries ESPN-branded material.