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Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Wide NBCUniversal cuts include Hardball Talk

One of the big remaining players in digital sportswriting seems to be slimming down their operations there significantly. That would be NBC Sports, which has long operated a group of “Talk” sites (Hardball Talk, College Football Talk, College Basketball Talk, Pro Hockey Talk, Pro Basketball Talk, Pro Soccer Talk, Motor Sports Talk, Olympic Talk, etc) in the mold of Pro Football Talk (which is actually owned by Mike Florio, but has been partnered with NBC since 2009). With NBCUniversal making wider cuts across their operations, Monday appears to have spelled the end for several of those sites, including Hardball Talk, College Basketball Talk, and College Football Talk. First, Hardball Talk, where editors and writers Craig Calcaterra and Bill Baer posted about being let go:

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 04, 2020 at 08:18 PM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: craig calcaterra

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   1. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 05, 2020 at 12:20 PM (#5967995)
Sorry to hear about it for Craig (and Bill as well). I hope they both land on their feet.

Whole lot of cutbacks going on right now, and I found myself visiting the site a lot less often after their awful redesign a few years ago. But it was still a good general topic blog for keeping up on developments in the sport.
   2. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: August 05, 2020 at 03:23 PM (#5968025)
I guess they have to cut the unpopular sports first...
   3. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: August 05, 2020 at 03:24 PM (#5968026)
Strange move. Doesn't seem like running a sports news feed/blog would cost very much at all for a giant like NBC.
   4. Jay Seaver Posted: August 05, 2020 at 04:10 PM (#5968032)
It kind of looks like they're keeping the sports that NBC retains broadcast rights to - NFL, Notre Dame, the Olympics, Premier League - and jettisoning mention of the rest, which makes a sort of weird sense if the idea is to keep people in the NBCUniversal/Comcast ecosystem. Of course, they're apparently also doing a pretty harsh pruning job at the various local NBCSports channels.

I get the feeling that these big amalgamated communications companies just aren't interested in making a little profit here and there anymore - AT&T/Warner has shed or shut down a lot of units that were apparently profitable but not hugely so over the past few years - much less take a small loss in one area because stuff like covering all the sports makes the site more generally appealing.

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