Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals races up the ice with the puck during a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Capital One Arena on April 24, 2022 in Washington, D.C.
John Mccreary | National Hockey League | Getty Images
Comcast has agreed to sell its majority ownership stake in NBC Sports Washington, the regional sports network that airs local Washington, D.C., NBA and NHL games, to Monumental Sports & Entertainment.
Monumental, which invests in sports teams and businesses, has owned a 33% stake in the network since 2016. Following the close of the deal, of which terms weren’t disclosed, it will take ownership of Comcast’s 67% position.
NBC Sports Washington has aired the NBA’s Wizards and NHL’s Capitals since 1984, when the network was launched. The channel is available throughout D.C., Maryland and Virginia, as well as parts of Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia.
As part of the deal, Comcast’s NBCUniversal said it will continue to assist in operating the network for up to 18 months.
The move comes as local sports channels have been under pressure as consumers continue to drop their subscriptions to cable and satellite TV packages. The media companies behind these networks have been figuring out a viable business that offers a streaming option.
In June, the New England Sports Network, the local channel that airs Boston’s Red Sox and Bruins games, launched a stand-alone streaming subscription, which charges $29.99 a month.
Sinclair Broadcast Group, owner of the largest portfolio of regional sports networks, has started offering a streaming option in some of its markets and plans to roll out streaming access for all of its channels in coming months.
Comcast still owns a handful of other local sports channels, such as NBC Sports Philadelphia. The Wall Street Journal previously reported it was exploring a sale of the networks.
Disclosure: CNBC is owned by Comcast’s NBCUniversal.