Kabletown changes Versus’ name, versus just dropping it all together

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To understand the nuances behind this high-five above, go to the official Kabletown link.

Starting Jan. 2, Versus changes to NBC Sports Network. Golf Channel stays (not adding “The” in front of it). Universal Sports, which finally got put onto DirecTV, remains universal.

And everything else Comcast owns remains dedicated to pushing GE appliances.

This is the Comcast-NBC way of trying to create some synergy, creating the NBC Sports Group. With a new logo.

They announced this all in Beverly Hills today as part of the summer TV critics tour.

“This effort is a major step towards a complete strategic alignment of all our platforms and businesses,” said Mark Lazarus, the new-ish chairman of the NBC Sports Group since Dick Ebersol has left the building. “This is more than just a name change for Versus. It’s a complete repositioning of the brand to provide value for marketers, consumers as well as all our affiliates and distributors. We want anyone who comes into contact with any of our assets to immediately connect with the NBC Sports brand promise.”

For some reason, we’re more intrigued by the explanation on how the “evolutional” peacock logo changes. That was then. This is now.

The NBC press release explains it this way:

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== The peacock is slightly larger.
== The letters “NBC” are still bold but have a new font which puts them in balance with the peacock.
== “Sports” maintains its scripted feel, but features a new hand-lettered font exclusively created for NBC Sports. Previously, “Sports” was on an angle, but it has been straightened to allow for “Network” to fit easily beneath it and to accommodate the on-air design of commonly used sports tickers.

Can you imagine being in all those meetings as ideas were exchanged, arguments raised, subcommittees set up, graphic designers hired and fired, and trips to the zoo to more closely examine the peacock’s anatomical prefections happened over the last few weeks.

Sounds like fodder for an episode of “30 Rock.”

The Sports Business Daily reports Versus will move more of its operations of out Philadelphia (where Comcast is based) to New York. Bob Fernandez of the Philadelphia Inquirer also notes that the “goal of the Versus name change — and other changes expected to be announced in the coming months — is to make the sports channel more popular with fans so that Comcast can charge higher per-subscriber fees for it.”

Take that, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, next time you appear on a Comcast cable channel.

More on the whole name-change thing from another one of the NBC companies (linked here).

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