Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which acquired NBC Sports Washington last year, has rebranded the regional sports Network as Monumental Sports Network, which will feature both a linear television channel and a digital streaming platform.
The linear channel, home to Monumental’s teams including the Washington Wizards of the NBA and Washington Capitals of the NHL, remains on the same channel numbers where NBC Sports Washington could be found by pay TV subscribers, effective Tuesday.
The new digital platform provides fans with enhanced video functionality for live-streaming of games with authentication of their pay TV credentials, on-demand viewing of original programming and game replay and exclusive behind-the-scenes content.
“Since acquiring NBC Sports Washington one year ago to the day, we have spent every day since building what we believe will be the best local media experience for the greatest fans in all of sports,” said Zach Leonsis, president of media & new enterprises at Monumental Sports & Entertainment, son of company owner Ted Leonsis. “Our fans deserve the best experience possible, so we challenged ourselves to push every standard and deliver an extraordinary media platform. We’re excited to begin the network’s transformation this month with additional plans to unveil several significant upgrades throughout the course of the Capitals and Wizards regular seasons.”
The new digital platform was developed by ViewLift, another Leonsis-backed company.
Digital users will get:
- Access to multiple camera angles during live games with additional functionality including the ability to rewind and watch in slow motion.
- Personalization features that tailor a user’s experience towards their favorite teams and players.
- Access to hundreds of hours of original behind-the-scenes programming and new shows.
- The ability to watch Monumental Sports Network’s live, 24/7 linear feed on-the-go on multiple devices.·
- Opt-in ability to receive score alerts, team and player updates, as well as a new Monumental Sports Network newsletter.·
- Daily editorial and video clips covering the Capitals, Wizards, Mystics, and Go-Go which can be saved to a user’s list for later viewing.
- Sportradar integrations providing users with advanced, real-time sports data and betting analytics.·
- Ticketmaster integration for ticket management and account linking.·
- Pay TV subscribers can receive all these features at no additional cost by signing in with their TV Everywhere (TVE) credentials.
- On TV, viewers will see a new logo, look and programming.
New programming includes Hometown with Rachel Nichols, formerly with ESPN, which will appear Thursdays at 7 p.m. starting in October. An initial episode will appear September 20 at 10 p.m. and feature Ted and Zach Leonsis.
Also in the channel’s new lineup are Hershey Bears: Sweeter by the Dozen, about the American Hockey League 2023 champions; Caps Red Line, a weekly series with behind-the-scenes and off-ice stories about the Capitals; Beyond the Buzzer, with off-the-court stories about the Wizards; By the Book, a sport betting series produced with Caesars Sportsbook; District Countdown, featuring historic Capitals and Wizards moments and Beltway Football, which airs during the season and looks at the Commanders and other football activity in the capital area.
The network launch will be promoted with its first paid ad campaign, with print, online and out-of-home ads in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia region.
Monumental Sports Network is also building a new production facility and broadcast studio, set to be online by early 2024 It is located next to Capital One Arena. The two-story, SMPTE 2110 facility will feature two studios which can also combine on non-conflict nights to create a single telecast. The facility will also feature two insert studios and five control rooms to produce multiple events simultaneously.
Monumental Sports Network plans to upgrade its video quality from 1080i to 1080p. The new facility is also built to upgrade its video quality to 4K in the future. In addition, Monumental Sports Network will plan to pursue its alternate telecast strategy upon the opening of the new facility.
“While the local media ecosystem continues to evolve, we seek to build the exemplar local media platform in all of sports. The value of live sports rights continues to grow, which is why we are so confident in making these significant investments back into our local rights,” Leonsis said. “We will do more with our live rights than ever before, upgrading the existing live experience, and producing more programming to the benefit of our fans and business partners. We look forward to debuting many more additional upgrades and enhancements throughout the NBA and NHL regular seasons.”
Broadcasting & Cable Newsletter
The smarter way to stay on top of broadcasting and cable industry. Sign up below
Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.