Versus, formerly the Outdoor Life Network, will become the NBC Sports Network effective Jan. 2.
OLN launched in 1995 and was rebranded as Versus in 1996. The company will also introduce a new logo with a slightly larger peacock and other minor changes.
"This effort is a major step towards a complete strategic alignment of all our platforms and businesses," said Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Sports Group. "This is more than just a name change for Versus. It’s a complete repositioning of the brand to provide value for marketers, consumers as well as all our affiliates and distributors. We want anyone who comes into contact with any of our assets to immediately connect with the NBC Sports brand promise."
Lazarus announced the change at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. Other recent changes for Versus include adding horse racing and Notre Dame football-related programming.
NBC chose the Jan. 2 date in part because the NHL Winter Classic on NBC will allow for cross promotion and because Jan. 1 will conclude the NFL's regular season. The Jan. 7 NFL Wild Card doubleheader and Feb. 5 Super Bowl will also provide opportunities to promote the new name.
Watch Lazarus explain the rebranding: