NBC Sports Regional Networks Enjoy Growth Across Multiple Platforms in 2017
Coming off of a record year of product launches, rebrands and new initiatives, NBC Sports Regional Networks saw significant growth across its digital, social and linear platforms in 2017. NBC Sports Regional Networks (RSNs) streaming of MLB, NHL and NBA saw a 124% increase in minutes streamed, compared to 2016. In all, the RSNs streamed more than 417 million minutes across 1,589 games during the 2017 calendar year on local regional network websites, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.
NBC Sports Regional Networks had their first full season streaming local in-market MLB games in 2017, and second season of NHL in-market streaming. The new agreements expanded the RSNs offering of NBA streaming, which was first introduced in 2014.
On the strength of NBA, NHL and MLB all streaming simultaneously for the first time, April ranked as the RSNs most-streamed month of the year, with 67 million total minutes consumed. NBC Sports Boston’s has seen the most significant streaming growth, with coverage of the Celtics up 170% in live minutes, compared to 2016.
Powered by Playmaker Media, the NBC Sports Regional Networks now have partnerships for in-market streaming of the Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, San Jose Sharks, San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s (NBC Sports Bay Area/ NBC Sports California); Chicago Bulls, Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox (NBC Sports Chicago); Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals (NBC Sports Washington); Philadelphia 76ers, Philadelphia Flyers and Philadelphia Phillies (NBC Sports Philadelphia); Boston Celtics (NBC Sports Boston); Portland Trail Blazers (NBC Sports Northwest).
NBC Sports Regional Networks’ Social Following Up 31% on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Overall, NBC Sports Regional Networks combined to have 3.6 million social media followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in 2017, up +31%, compared to 2016.
- NBC Sports Boston experienced the biggest social growth on Facebook, increasing their page likes by 74% in 2017.
- NBC Sports Northwest also saw their biggest bump on Facebook, increasing their page likes by 54% in 2017.
- NBC Sports Philadelphia increased their Twitter followers by 48% in 2017.
- NBC Sports Bay Area grew their Instagram followers by 38% in 2017.
NBC Sports Regional Networks rounded out 2017 with nearly 34 million total combined social media interactions, across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
- NBC Sports Washington garnered 4.2 million Facebook interactions in 2017.
NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports Chicago Finish Year as No. 1 Cable Networks in Respective Markets
NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports Chicago closed out 2017 as the No. 1 cable networks in their respective markets. Bay Area extended its streak as the No. 1 cable network during primetime, in San Francisco, to 7 years (2011-2017). NBC Sports Chicago finished out the year as the No. 1 cable network, in Chicago, for a third consecutive year.
In local media rights partnerships, three NHL teams are experiencing year-over-year increases in household ratings, through week 11 of the 2017-18 NHL season. Through week nine of the 2017-18 NBA season, five NBA teams are experiencing year-over-year increases in household ratings, four of which are double-digit. The 2017 Chicago Cubs season, on NBC Sports Chicago, was the second highest-rated season on record, averaging a 4.16 household rating.
NBC Sports Regional Networks Launched First Local Direct-to-Consumer Streaming Product, NBC Sports Gold’s “Blazers Pass”
In December 2017, NBC Sports Regional Networks launched NBC Sports Gold’s “Blazers Pass,” a first of its kind streaming product, which allows fans residing in Blazers territory to purchase 15 games during the 2017-18 NBA season. The package tipped off on December 11, 2017, when the Blazers faced the Golden State Warriors, and marked a significant step in the regional direct-to-consumer business.
The pass is part of NBC Sports Gold’s suite of direct-to-consumer live streaming products to desktop, mobile, tablets and connected TV devices. It is powered by NBC Sports’ Playmaker Media.
NBC Sports Regional Networks United CSN, TCN Properties With Brand Evolution and Launch Authentic Fan
In October 2017, NBC Sports Regional Networks completed the regional NBC Sports brand evolution across its portfolio, uniting all of the CSN-branded networks and two TCNs, under the NBC Sports umbrella. Incorporating “NBC Sports” with each of the networks’ regional designations and updating logos allowed each of the networks to associate more closely with NBC Sports.
Completed in advance of the 2017-18 NHL and NBA regular seasons, the rebranded properties are:
- NBC Sports Chicago, NBC Sports Northwest, NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBC Sports Washington, NBC Sports Boston, NBC Sports Washington+ and NBC Sports Philadelphia+
- NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California completed their brand progression in April 2017.
As part of the evolution, NBC Sports Regional Networks also expanded their Authentic Fan brand. NBC Sports Chicago, NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBC Sports Washington and NBC Sports Boston joined NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California in the mission to connect fans with the teams they love.
A grassroots engagement strategy, Authentic Fan aims to celebrate and unite communities through unique fan experiences, theme nights, VIP game experiences and giveaways.