MSNBC, which once used the tagline “The Place for Politics” to describe itself, will become “The Place for Hockey” and “The Place for Curling” come February.
NBC Olympics has announced that the “forward”-leaning cable news channel will air 45 hours of live Olympics coverage, including hockey medal games and curling. Sister channels CNBC and USA will also air live a combined 79 hours of curling and hockey during the Olympics.
Hockey has long been one of the more popular Olympic sports with viewers. As for curling, the sport of brooms and stones generated—despite its staid reputation—surprisingly strong ratings in 2010, often drawing over 1.5 million viewers for matches. Its popularity in 2010 prompted the decision to increase TV coverage for the 2014 games.
MSNBC and USA are “fully distributed,” meaning that they are available in around 100 million homes. CNBC is not far behind them, and is available in around 90 million homes. For live sports like the Olympics, sports rights holders like to shift live events
to cable channels with the widest distribution so viewers can find them.
Source: Capital New York