In a development that gives a new look to local televised sports coverage, NBC Bay Area (KNTV-11) will begin using Comcast SportsNet Bay Area to provide content on its 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts.
Comcast took over NBC in January after acquiring a 51 percent stake in NBC Universal. Starting in June, NBC Bay Area will reap the benefits of the new partnership by using CSNBA for its nightly sports segment. NBC Bay Area president Rich Cerussi said the segment won't be like what viewers are used to seeing on a local newscast. Instead of simply providing scores and highlights, NBC Bay Area plans on airing live interviews and leveraging CSNBA's other resources as well.
"There are an incredible amount of resources to do enterprise reporting of sports," Cerussi said. "Everybody knows the scores by the time the sports segment comes on. But if something unusual happens at a Giants game, we will have a reporter right there. It's going to allow us to go much more in-depth."
CSNBA already produces a nightly sports news show, "SportsNet Central," which focuses almost exclusively on Bay Area sports. CSNBA plans to build an additional set strictly for its NBC Bay Area segments.
CSNBA general manager Ted Griggs said the NBC Bay Area segments won't be an abridged version of the content airing on CSNBA. The content that airs on NBC Bay Area will be original and intended just for that purpose.
"This is not a revolutionary move. It's an evolutionary move," Griggs said. "The thing we're bringing to KNTV is not just content but context. We're not going to tell what happened but why it happened."
CSNBA also will provide NBC Bay Area with documentaries and magazine shows that will air on the weekends, as well as season previews and reviews of the Bay Area's sports teams.
"We can reach a whole new section of people," Griggs said. "That's good for the story, good for us and good for KNTV. Those are the kind of things we're going to work on together."
NBC Bay Area's Raj Mathai, who was the station's sports director for 12 years before becoming the lead news anchor in January, thinks the new arrangement is going to prompt other network affiliates across the country to take notice.
"If it's done right, I think it's a game changer," Mathai said. "I think other stations across the country are going to go, 'Wow. Those guys are doing it right.' It's exciting for us. As a former sports director, I see a five-person sports staff going to a 150-person sports staff. I'm excited."