Monumental Sports and Entertainment, the owner of the Wizards, Capitals, Mystics and Capital One Arena, has purchased its television partner NBC Sports Washington.
Since the area’s Major League Baseball teams — the Nationals and Orioles — are carried by the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, the majority of NBCSW’s programming already focused on Monumental’s teams.
MSE already held a 33% stake in NBCSW and currently operates the streaming service Monumental Sports Network. In 2016, MSE signed a long-term partnership with the company, then known as CSN Mid-Atlantic, that covered the exclusive regional network television rights to the games of the Capitals and Wizards.
“We at Monumental Sports & Entertainment are incredibly excited to have reached an agreement to acquire NBC Sports Washington, an important business for our current and future core business operations,” said Zach Leonsis, Monumental’s president of media and new enterprises. “Comcast NBCUniversal has built a strong regional sports network in NBC Sports Washington. We look forward to further enhancing and innovating on the already best-in-class experience that our fanbase enjoys of watching live sports, for years to come.”
When the deal was made in 2016, MSE was given two representatives on the NBCSW’s six-member board of directors. NBC Universal was the owner of NBCSW, which began in 1984 as a regional sports network known as Home Team Sports.
At the time, it was unheard of for home games of sports teams to be televised locally for fear of hurting ticket sales. Now, it’s the norm for all games to be televised, and the past 40 years have seen a boom in ticket sales for all major league sports.
NBCSW is available on about 25 cable television providers, primarily in Maryland, Virginia and D.C. It’s estimated the channel reaches more than 4.7 million households in the Mid-Atlantic region.
WTOP is a media partner with NBC Sports Washington.
WTOP’s Dave Johnson is the radio play-by-play voice of the Wizards.