PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- The cable TV sports network Versus is being rebranded as NBC Sports Network in January 2012, NBCUniversal announced Monday.
Versus, which has major operations in Philadelphia since its founding by NBCUniversal parent Comcast, will now be under the control of NBC Sports in New York, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Versus carries NHL hockey, the Tour de France cycling event, rodeo competitions and other more niche sports.
The change is being made to improve Versus' chronically low ratings and thus fetch higher per-user fees from cable TV providers, the newspaper said.
NBC says it plans to change the style and presentation of the network as part of an overhaul so that it parallels that of NBC, which is known for its emphasis on storytelling and athlete profiles, especially during its Olympics coverage.
It seems likely the former Versus will broadcast some of the upcoming 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London, the Inquirer reported.
NBC confirmed it will blending personnel between the NBC broadcast-TV operations and the cable sports channel.