NBCUniversal announced today that their ratings-challenged 24-hour cable sports channel Versus will be renamed NBC Sports Network.
The Hollywood Reporter quotes NBC Sports Group chairman Mark Lazarus as saying the switch is more than just a name change for the channel. "It's a complete repositioning of the brand," he said. "We want anyone who comes into contact with any of our assets to immediately connect with the NBC Sports brand promise."
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the changes will include NBC's on-air style and presentation, which emphasizes storytelling and profiles of athletes. They say the goal of the rebranding is to increase the channel's popularity so that they can charge higher per-subscriber fees.
Versus airs a lot of NHL hockey and is a big part of NBC's Olympics coverage. Versus broadcast the 2010 NHL All-Star game, which was hosted by Raleigh.
The change will take place on January 2.