NBC Takes Majority Stake in WCSN, name change to Universal Sports


In a copyrighted story on Sports Business.com, NBC has announced its intention to acquire majority stake in the World Championships Sports Network. If there is a Horatio Alger story in modern electronic sports, then this is the one....

Under the new agreement between NBC Universal and Intermedia Partners, the owners of WCSN, the former WCSN will be known as Universal Sports, starting on Thursday. This is the second focused sports media deal in the last week, as Disney/ESPN announced their purchase of Student Sports, Inc., which included their 160 plus events, and their premier high school track website, Dyestat.com.

Why the interest? In my estimation, we are beginning to finally see the value of the internet--focused, special interest viewing and reading. Be it high school sports, Olympic sports, golf, running, walleye fishing, the web, and with broadband especially,
allows one, for nominal costs, to develop a special interest broadcast and electronic media station or url, and feed the need for specialty information.

When cable television began, a comment was attributed to Rupert Murdoch, " 544 TV Stations? That is 544 chances for bad television." How True.

We hear about the huge successes, we scarcely hear about the websites and networks that have died an inglorious death. Normally, the economic imperative (reread Das Kapital), that economic need is the reason for invention and change, wins out. One might be the first, but that does not mean the best.

Claude Ruibal, who, along with Carlos Silva, manage WCSN. They will be staying on to develop the new network. The new network goal, according to Mr. Silva, is to give
the viewers Olympic sports programming 24/7.

Claude Ruibal and Carlos Silva, the managers of WCSN, will continue day to day management, according to the press release.

It was also noted that they have several of the largest federation sports championships, like track & field and gymnastics, on their bill already. The new programming starts this coming Thursday with early rounds of the wrestling Olympic Trials.

I have known Claude Ruibal for a decade. This is the perfect job for his talents. I met Claude at the 1995 World Champs in Gothenburg, Sweden. He was a manager in the marketing department for the IAAF, then he went to ISL Marketing, and after that, Ask Jeeves.com. WCSN has been his team's dream for several years, as they gave track fans sometimes their only access to track & field in Europe.

Ruibal's access to global federations, and his experience with their ways of doing business has obviously helped him make WCSN a success. They have survived the challenges of any new business and were able to find financing and support with InterMedia for the past 18 months.

Their clever marketing and continually improving website and embracing of technology has made the site the one to watch. We wish them best wishes and look forward to seeing new programming on the new Universal Sports Network.

For the complete story, please click here: http://www.sportbusiness.com/news/167002/nbc-acquires-majority-stake-in-wcsn

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