About a year ago, the Comcast SportsNet regional sports channels made some minor revisions to their logo, one of which was the addition of the NBC peacock. This change was made to reflect the new partnership between NBC Sports and the Comcast SportsNet stations, which happened following Comcast’s 2011 acquisition of NBC Universal.
Another ramification of the Comcast/NBC deal pertained to the Comcast owned sports network Versus, which fell into control of the NBC Sports division (now known as the NBC Sports Group). At the start of 2012, Versus was renamed to NBC Sports Network, which is now in the process of being phased out in favor of just the acronym “NBCSN.”
So we’re left with NBCSN and the cluster of regional Comcast SportsNet channels. My obsessive-compulsive mindset is thinking that a brand consolidation is needed.
The NBC Sports Network/NBCSN brand seems to be intact, so any obvious change would be to Comcast SportsNet. The most logical step would be to phase out the Comcast name and replace it with the NBC Sports monicker, along with the name of each respective city, state or region — NBC Sports Chicago, NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBC Sports Northwest, etc. Another option is to instead implement the NBCSN name to each regional network, along with the respective city, state or region — NBCSN Chicago, NBCSN Philadelphia, NBCSN Northwest etc.
Once the NBC peacock was added to the Comcast SportsNet logo, I naturally assumed such a change was in motion. Fueling the speculation further was the simultaneous implementation of an upgraded graphics package, which is identical to what NBC and NBCSN still use on their broadcasts (the lone exception are the score bugs, which have some minor differences, especially evident during NHL games). Another consideration was the continued phasing out of the Comcast name for its cable, television and Internet packages. Such services have been bundled under the Xfinity brand since 2010.
(On a side note, while the CSN networks use the NBC Sports graphics, why do they continue to use their own separate theme music, such as for NHL games? While I do actually like the CSN NHL music bed used during Blackhawk games, I can’t help but yearn for the official NHL on NBC theme music.)
By no means am I suggesting that Comcast as a corporate name is on the way out. I’m just thinking that they’ve adapted a strategy where less emphasis is placed on the corporate name and instead placed on individual brands within the company.
Another prominent occurrence at the end of last year was the change to the Comcast corporate logo, which also included the addition of the NBC peacock. I hated it then and I hate it now. That logo, in my opinion, defines brand confusion. The NBC peacock is supposed to be for the NBC brand of television networks — not for a cable, phone and Internet conglomerate. A second reason I hate the logo is because it’s plain and ugly. It comes across as a lazy attempt.
If such a configuration is used for Comcast’s corporate logo, then the addition of the NBC peacock to the Comcast SportsNet logo may have been just the same, with no intention of shifting to the NBC Sports brand name. I do suspect a name change will happen to the regional networks, eventually. It might be something as simple as using the acronym CSN in place of Comcast SportsNet. The CSN monicker has already been in use, unofficially, but merely as more of a nickname (i.e. CSN Chicago). For the sake of brand continuity, I’d rather see all the regional networks adapt the NBC Sports or the NBCSN name.
The Fox Sports property now includes the newly launched national Fox Sports 1 network in addition to their own cluster of regional sports channels — all of which use the Fox Sports monicker. Why wouldn’t NBC want to further capitalize on their brand by doing the same with their own regional sports channels?
The marketing guy in me has obviously put a lot of thought into this. The sports fan in me? I won’t care what the name of the station is come spring time as long as the Blackhawks are poised to win another Stanley Cup and that at least one of Chicago’s baseball teams plays decently.