Today, Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) announced the official rebrand of its sports network, NBC Sports Washington, as Monumental Sports Network. The rebranding will take effect this September and will replace all instances of the NBC Sports Washington brand and logo. The rebranding will also extend to new on-air graphics, digital aesthetics, and more. Monumental will launch a brand awareness campaign this summer to inform fans of this transition, ahead of the 2023-24 NBA and NHL regular seasons.
When the new Monumental Sports Network brand goes live this fall, the network will launch a variety of new original and studio programs that overhaul the network’s 24-hour programming experience. This investment in programming will complement the hundreds of live games and pre- and post-game programs that the network already produces for the NHL’s Washington Capitals, the NBA’s Washington Wizards, the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, the G League’s Capital City Go-Go, the NBA 2K League’s Wizards District Gaming – all franchises owned and operated by Monumental. Monumental Sports Network holds exclusive local TV media rights to the NHL’s Washington Capitals, NBA’s Washington Wizards and WNBA’s Washington Mystics games. Additionally, the network will carry hundreds of hours of programming for local collegiate and high-school level games across D.C., Virginia and Maryland.
The programming additions include two new studio shows, behind-the-scenes team magazine shows, and coverage from D.C. native Rachel Nichols, the nationally recognized sportswriter, reporter and broadcaster.
“When we acquired NBC Sports Washington, we committed to building the best local sports network for our fans. Today’s announcement is the first of many which reflect significant investments that we are making back into our media platform that will greatly upgrade the everyday experience for D.C. sports fans and our various partners,” shared Zach Leonsis, President of Media & New Enterprises, Monumental Sports & Entertainment. “We’re incredibly excited to debut the many enhancements that we’ve developed over the course of this past year and believe that fans will genuinely appreciate the thoughtful approach that we’re taking to bring them closer to the teams and athletes that they love and admire.”
About the Rebrand:
The rebrand will replace all instances of the NBC Sports Washington brand and logo, and will extend to new on-air graphics, digital aesthetics, and more. Monumental, in partnership with renowned brand agency, HZ, developed the brand’s logo, upcoming campaign and extensions.
To build a brand that truly represents D.C. sports, the concept started with a focus on the heart of the organization: the fans. The naming and brand development process included deep market research, analysis, and multiple rounds of testing with focus groups and participants across the DMV. And while Monumental Sports Network is the existing namesake of the digital network which MSE launched in 2016, after several thoughtful rounds of examination, it rose to be the most suitable brand for the new station.
The testing included thousands of current season ticket holders for the Capitals, Wizards, and Mystics – the most loyal and enthusiastic fans who consume the brand most consistently. Participant groups were expanded to also include casual sports fans, community members, and those who live outside the DMV but still identify as D.C. sports fans. Of the six names tested, the one that resonated the most and felt the most authentic was Monumental Sports Network. Almost half of participants picked this as their front-runner over the other options presented.
With the name locked in, attention turned to the logo and brand development. With several unique logo options and multiple brand-looks, testing began with the various participant groups and they provided quantitative and qualitative feedback. The logo — “Monumental M”— was the clear winner, with favorability double that of other logo concepts. The subtle nods to the Washington Monument in the composition of the logo is unique and authentic to D.C. HZ also used the power of each team’s colors and identities in crafting the new Monumental Sports Network brand. D.C.’s architecture, textures, and symbols were also used as inspirations throughout the brand iconography. Participants overwhelmingly gravitated to that brand option over all others.
“The team at HZ that helped develop the brand is a unique combination of brand experts, DMV natives, and huge D.C. sports fans,” shared Katie Hooper, President, HZ. “It gave us a unique opportunity to craft a brand that we knew would truly resonate with the community. Leaning into the strengths of how iconic D.C. is and collaborating with fans, we found so much inspiration to push the brand forward and create something that only a D.C. sports network could own.”
About the New Content & Programming:
Monumental Sports Network is pursuing a significant overhaul of the network’s programming for the upcoming season including multiple new in-game enhancements, new original programming, alternate feeds of live games, and additional on-air talent including national media personality, Rachel Nichols.
Live game enhancements:
- Sideline reporters will travel and report on-the-ground for all games.
- Players and coaches will be mic’d up in-game, bringing fans closer to the action during broadcasts 40 Wizards and 40 Caps games per season.
- Point-of-view cameras will be positioned for announcers, capturing the most dramatic calls for all games.
- Unparalleled access and views for fans watching Alex Ovechkin’s chase of history to beat Wayne Gretzky’s all time goal scoring record.
- Unique crash box camera angles will be positioned during Washington Capitals games for ice-level game action and new access to behind-the-scenes and point-of-view cameras outside the Capitals’ locker-room for home games.
- Wireless cameras will be positioned for game production, capturing more in-arena excitement/reactions.
- There will be more opportunities to get to know players with longer-form, personality driven postgame interviews.
- The pregame and postgame shows will start the season being produced from Capital One Arena until the network’s new studios are delivered at the end of 2023/early 2024.
- Fans will also see more advanced analytics during broadcasts.
New original programming:
- Rachel Nichols Project: A new interview format series will feature award-winning journalist and sportscaster Rachel Nichols. Rachel will be telling the stories of her hometown’s top sports talent and celebrities.
- By the Book: In conjunction with Caesars Sportsbook, Monumental will re-launch the network’s marquee sports betting series for a third season. Highlights will include a new studio and cutting-edge graphics.
- Untitled Capitals Magazine: A new weekly series will highlight the best behind-the-scenes, off-ice stories with players, staff, and other Capitals fanatics stories, hosted by network presenter Alexa Landestoy.
- Untitled Wizards Magazine: A new weekly series will feature the best behind-the-scenes, off-court stories with players, staff and other Wizards fanatics stories, hosted by network presenter Wes Hall.
- Untitled Top 10 Series: Program will count down the greatest moments in Capitals and Wizards history in this new format series; episodes may include greatest goals, buzzer beaters, dunks, and comebacks.
- Classic Capitals and Wizards games: Fans will be able to relive classic Capitals and Wizards games and anniversaries tied to major rivalries and marquee matchups during the 2023-24 seasons.
- Other specials and limited series in development: Fans will gain behind-the-scenes access to Monumental’s sports teams’ players and coaches, there will be new studio specials celebrating important moments throughout the season, podcasts diving deeper into stories both on and off the court/ice, and new limited series focusing on fashion and the NBA.
- Fans can anticipate at least 100 games where there will be alternate feeds across both the Wizards and Capitals’ regular season games each year.
- Alternate feeds will be available on the network’s soon-to-be launched digital platform during game times when the Capitals and Wizards aren’t playing at the same time.
- Alternate feeds will feature rotating on-air talent including former players, team personnel, local media personalities, and more – but in a more casual, conversational setting while analyzing the game.
- Alternate feeds will also feature advanced data analytics and other data visualizations to enhance the on-screen experience.
- The network will pursue the production of alternate feeds upon opening its new state-of-the-art studio experience later in the 2023-24 NBA and NHL regular seasons.
All of Monumental Sports Network’s new programming enhancements will improve the game day experience for fans, creating a longer programming grid that builds up to the game itself, upgrade the current broadcast, and gives viewers more choices to enjoy their broadcast.
In addition to the brand and programming notes, Monumental Sports Network will launch a new digital experience and newsletter.
The new digital experience will be home to live games for pay TV customers, exclusive digital content, and the latest news, schedules and stats from our teams.
The newsletter will keep fans up to date on all things Monumental Sports Network each week, presented in a quick and easy to consume format. Fans will get the latest schedule and programming updates, the best broadcast moments and the most interesting stories and news about the teams.
To see more, visit: https://www.monumentalsportsnetwork.com/coming-soon
“This brand personality conveys key pillars for our network: confidence, authenticity, iconicity, inclusiveness, and innovation” said Friday Abernethy, General Manager of Monumental Sports Network. “And we expect that the way we are programing the network, making investments in technology and the new production studio, and designing a seamless fan/user experience will set the trend for the entire industry.”
Today’s announcement of the network’s rebranding as well as new content and programming for the 2023-24 season and beyond will be followed by additional announcements about the network in the coming months. The full technical and operational change-over from former NBC Sports Washington to Monumental Sports Network will come this fall, ahead of the start to the NHL and NBA seasons. At that time, fans will see new logos and a new brand identity when they tune into the familiar station.
Audiences tuning into Monumental Sports Network will still see some legacy programming from NBC Sports Washington’s existing contracts. An announcement will be made later this summer on the launch date and schedule for the new broadcast line-up. Channel guides will continue listing the station as NBC Sports Washington until the full technical and operational changeover in the Fall.
The rebrand and programming line-up announcement is just the first phase in bringing Monumental Sports Network to fans, with exciting plans for an upgraded fan experience to be announced throughout the Summer and Fall of 2023.