It had been speculated, it had been reported by show staffers, but now The Dan Patrick Show will finally debut this morning on NBC Sports Network at 9 AM ET. A couple weeks after the move was first made public, the final pieces were put into place for the radio show simulcast to air its first episode on NBCSN today. NBC made the announcement official last night (just in time to promote on Sunday Night Football) with a couple other interesting tidbits. First, a "Best of The Dan Patrick Show" program will air from 4 PM - 5 PM ET in the afternoon each weekday. Second, and more significant, NBC Sports Network is leaving the sports tier and moving from Channel 603 to Channel 220 on DirecTV...
"NBC Sports Network has acquired multi-year rights from DIRECTV to air The Dan Patrick Show, the renowned sports television show and syndicated radio program starring Football Night in America co-host Dan Patrick. The Dan Patrick Show will debut on NBC Sports Network tomorrow and air weekdays from 9 a.m.–Noon ET. A “Best Of” version will air weekday afternoons from 4-5 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.
To coincide with the debut of the show tomorrow, NBC Sports Network will relocate to Channel 220 (from Channel 603) on DIRECTV, which is adjacent to other national sports channels. DIRECTV owns and operates The Dan Patrick Show, which airs daily on DIRECTV’s exclusive Audience Network as well.
“Dan and the Danettes generate buzz and relevance every day with their entertaining format and top-line guests, making The Dan Patrick Show a perfect morning fit for the NBC Sports Network and its new channel position on DIRECTV,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports & NBC Sports Network.
“I’ve loved my time working for NBC Sports, on both Football Night in America and the Olympic coverage, and I really wanted to see our show on NBC Sports Network,” said Patrick. “This is good for the show, the channel and, most of all, the fans. I think the show that we have created with DIRECTV will be perfect for NBC Sports Network as part of its daily lineup.”
The DirecTV news was something we discussed back in August and is finally coming to fruition to coincide with DP coming to NBC Sports Network. While a channel relocation on a satellite provider doesn't seem like it should be a big deal, it's actually a significant upgrade for NBC. How many times have you heard people complain about not being able to find Versus back in the day or NBCSN now? The move to 220 puts it next to the ESPNs and NFL Networks of the world and away from TVG and The Outdoor Channel. For a channel starving for ratings, anything to minimally increase viewership is important.
NBC Sports Network received a huge boost from the Olympics this summer with record viewership. However, since London 2012, the network has returned to a quagmire of low ratings, few marquee products, and its most important partner (the NHL) stranding the peacock with a crushing lockout that defies explanation. It's been much harder for NBCSN than even pessimistic observers imagined.
And yet, the past couple weeks have provided the first significant signs of light for NBCSN. The Dan Patrick Show is the premier morning sports talk show in the country, and now it'll be aired every weekday morning. The network has also gained Formula One to provide inventory and won historic rights to the English Premier League beginning next year. To be honest, these shows are going to give me a reason to tune in to NBCSN consistently for the first time as a fan of what's offered on the network. NBC is hoping there's going to be plenty more new viewers coming on board this morning with Dan Patrick and a way to keep them around as well.