NBC Sports, ESPN Classic Cease Operations

Effective January 1, the NBC Sports Network and ESPN Classic will cease operations and no longer be broadcast. 

NBCUniversal will shut down its main sports channel, NBCSN, on January 1. Much of its live sports content will move to USA Network, while more niche sports and events could shift to the company’s streaming service, Peacock, or be forced to find a new home altogether. The USA Network will begin carrying and/or simulcasting certain NBC Sports programming, including NHL Stanley Cup Playoff games and NASCAR races. 

ESPN Classic will go dark on January 1, ending a nearly three-decade run of nostalgic pay-TV sports programming. The network was founded as Classic Sports Network in 1995 and was acquired by ESPN in 1997. The decision to shut it down follows several years of declining distribution. Several major providers had dropped the network entirely, and satellite operators Dish and DirecTV had shifted it to a video-on-demand offering. Its reach had dwindled to a fraction of that of ESPN, which was in 84 million households as of 2020. 

Email programming@vmsinc.org with any questions regarding this change.

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