What the New York City Marathon’s new TV deal says about the sports TV wars

You probably don’t care all that much about the New York City Marathon, but its recent deal with ESPN says a lot as we approach the one-year anniversary of the start of the Wars.

Previously, the New York City Marathon had aired on Universal Sports, a network most people probably haven’t heard of, and WNBC-TV in New York, with NBC airing edited highlights later. It’s quite understandable that the Marathon would want a network that could give it a truly national audience (especially with Universal Sports losing a lot of households at the start of the year as it transitioned away from airing on NBC stations’ digital feeds), but that didn’t necessarily mean leaving NBC, now that NBC has the NBC Sports Network in the fold.

I don’t know if NBCSN had other plans for that day, but it still shows that NBC has a long way to go to prove that it’s a viable platform for smaller events on par with even ESPN2.

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