NBC Sports Site Relaunch Highlights Video for Pay-TV Subs – Variety

NBC Sports next week will unleash its first major website redesign in five years — a rejiggering of the digital furniture largely designed to promote live-streaming video available only to authenticated subscribers of the Peacock’s pay-TV partners.

The new NBCSports.com, slated to go live Monday, Sept. 7, will provide a “clean, streamlined experience” that will more prominently feature live and short-form video in the left rail, including upcoming events, as well as player news.

“From a content consumption and monetization standpoint, video is a point of emphasis,” said Rick Cordella, senior VP & G.M. of digital media for NBC Sports Group. He added that NBCSports.com was “certainly due” for a refresh.

In 2015, NBC Sports Digital properties will live-stream 2,700 events, representing more than 6,000 hours of actual gameplay. Next year, the Peacock will pitch more than 10,000 hours of live video from the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Virtually all of that programming is available only to customers of participating cable, satellite and telco TV providers.

Live-streaming video is “our sweet spot,” Cordella said. “We’re really pushing it to our users.”

Here’s a mockup of what the new NBCSports.com will look like on desktops:

To further boost digital tune-in, the new NBCSports.com includes a live-streaming schedule across the site. A “Watch Now” feature in the schedule will indicate events that are currently live and display upcoming events up to 72 hours in advance. In addition, a full schedule of live programming will be available on the NBC Sports Live Extra landing page up to a week in advance.

The redesigned site also will showcase short-form, on-demand video content — free to all users — in curated categories. That includes clips from NBC Sports’ properties; original programming such as “The Men in Blazers Show” and “Mobsteel”; NBC Sports Films content; and NBC Sports and Yahoo Sports’ “Mad Dash,” a digital-only weekday morning video roundup of trending sports stories.

In addition, NBCSports.com will try to better tap into the growing popularity of fantasy sports, by making content from its Rotoworld.com site more easily accessible. And the sports group has redesigned ProFootballTalk.com to feature homepage images and “infinite” scrolling, plus an NFL scoreboard and links to video that will appear across each page on the site.

Timing of the NBCSports.com relaunch is tied to start of the NFL’s 2015-16 regular season next week. Cordella said the redesign was handled in-house and took a little over a year from inception to execution. NBC Sports Digital will redesign the websites of NBCU’s RSNs in the coming months to match the new look and feel of NBCSports.com, he added.

Other new features of the website:

  • It will automatically register a user’s home market to feature a link to the appropriate NBC Sports RSN site in the top navigation panel;
  • A new format that enables layout flexibility for big event homepage takeovers to promote special content, live events and breaking news;
  • Media-gallery overlays for photo slideshows and videos that open when clicked from the homepage or sport sections; and
  • A scoreboard ticker with team- and sport-focused imagery, optimized fordesktops and tablets.

The NBC Sports Digital portfolio includes sports programming on NBC, NBCSN, Golf Channel and NBCU’s six Comcast SportsNet regional sports networks. The Peacock has broadcast rights to the Olympics, NFL’s Sunday Night Football, NASCAR, NHL Stanley Cup Final, England’s Premier League soccer, Triple Crown horse racing and other events.

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