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In First Sign of Synergy, NBC Announces that Comcast Will Provide Sports Coverage for Bay Area O&O

In the first sign of corporate synergy between Comcast and NBC’s local stations, NBCUniversal announced today that Comcast SportsNet Bay Area would begin providing live daily sports segments for Bay Area O&O KNTV.

The move comes just a day after the NHL signed a new 10-year TV deal with NBC and Versus, indicating that the newly formed media power clearly plans to use Comcast’s assets to increase NBC’s sports footprint.

KNTV will include SportsNet segments, hosted by existing Comcast anchors and reporters, on its 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts.

KNTV’s president and general manager Richard Cerussi has made it clear, though, that the partnership will not lead to layoffs (at least for now), telling the San Franciso Chronicle that the additional resources mean the station is “no longer be dependent on the hard work of a small team.”

Here’s the full press release:

SAN JOSE, CA, April 20, 2011 – NBC Bay Area today announced that Comcast SportsNet Bay Area will provide NBC Bay Area’s viewers with best-in-class sports coverage, significantly improving the quality of local television sports coverage for Bay Area viewers.

Beginning in June, Comcast SportsNet, part of the NBC Sports Group, will provide live daily sports news segments for NBC Bay Area that will be seamlessly included in the station’s 6:00 pm and 11:00 pm newscasts. This relationship allows NBC Bay Area to deliver more comprehensive local sports coverage by utilizing Comcast SportsNet’s resources, which include the area’s largest sports news team, state-of-the-art facilities and deep access to Bay Area teams, players and coaches.

In addition to sportscasts in more than 700 newscasts each year, NBC Bay Area viewers will enjoy an unprecedented amount of local sports programming, including a series of documentaries and magazine shows that will air monthly on weekend evenings. Special programs will cover Bay Area sports figures, preview and review each professional season and complement NBC Sports programs carried by the station.

Today’s announcement extends a partnership that began in 2008 between the two outlets to use Comcast SportsNet production resources for live San Francisco Giants telecasts on NBC Bay Area. It is expected to result in the creation of several new positions and is not anticipated to result in any job reductions.

“The Bay Area has eight professional franchises, six Division I college teams and millions of passionate, loyal fans,” said Richard Cerussi, NBC Bay Area President and General Manager. “This is one of the country’s greatest sports markets, and the partnership between our two organizations will enable NBC Bay Area to bring our audience more sports content and coverage than ever before.”

Comcast SportsNet Bay Area Vice President and General Manager Ted Griggs added, “Comcast SportsNet has made a significant investment to build the largest and most credible multiplatform sports news team in the market. Partnering with NBC Bay Area allows us to leverage our assets for the benefit of both outlets, consistent with our commitment to serve fans wherever they turn for sports developments.”

In addition to sportscasts in more than 700 news programs each year, Comcast SportsNet will provide NBC Bay Area viewers with an array of other local sports content including:

• Weekly NFL postgame analysis featuring Bay Area NFL insiders after every Sunday night football game on NBC Bay Area,
• Special programming surrounding NBC’s Triple Crown horse racing events and NBC’s major golf events, such as the 2012 US Open at San Francisco’s Olympic Club,
• Annual season preview and review specials for Bay Area sports teams, and
• Documentaries and magazine shows airing on weekend evenings focusing on Bay Area sports legends and news-makers, human interest stories, and behind-the-scenes looks at life in Bay Area sports culture.

To produce this added content, NBC Bay Area and Comcast SportsNet are constructing a new set in Comcast SportsNet’s 37,000 square-foot HD studios in downtown San Francisco. The sports news content provided by Comcast SportsNet will reflect the look and feel of NBC Bay Area’s newscast and incorporate Comcast SportsNet brand elements in a complementary manner.

NBC Bay Area is the local home for signature national sports events including the Olympics, NFL Sunday Night Football, the 2012 Super Bowl, the NHL Stanley Cup Final and regular-season coverage, the US Open, the Triple Crown, and more.

Comcast SportsNet’s 140-person local staff annually produces more than 500 live sports events featuring the Giants, A’s, Sharks, Warriors, Kings, Earthquakes and SaberCats, and more than 1,200 hours of live local sports news, debate and analysis, and has been awarded 56 local Emmy Awards for coverage excellence.

About NBC Local Media:
NBC Local Media creates and distributes engaging content that connects with a valuable audience in 10 major markets across the country. Our content platforms include: NBC Local Media broadcast and Nonstop channels, city websites, TheFeast.com, digital out-of home, and mobile. Through our local news operations, our lifestyle production arm LX.TV, and our local sales marketing and production teams, NBC Local Media creates content that connects communities with the people, events, and issues they care about most. Markets include: New York, LA, Chicago, Philadelphia, DFW, Bay Area, Washington, Miami, San Diego and Connecticut.

About Comcast Sports Group:
Comcast Sports Group, part of the NBC Sports Group, consists of 14 local networks that deliver 2,400 sporting events annually and breaking news and analysis to more than 50 million cable and satellite homes. Comcast Sports Group’s sports networks are: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Comcast SportsNet California, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Comcast SportsNet New England, Comcast SportsNet Northwest, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, SNY, The Mtn. – Mountain West Sports Network, CSS and Comcast Sports Southwest. Comcast Sports Group also manages NECN (New England Cable News), the nation’s largest regional news network, and The Comcast Network, based in Philadelphia and Washington, which delivers community-oriented programming. For more information, see ComcastSportsNet.com.

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