Sports Business Journal (SBJ) announced Monumental Sports Network as the recipient of its “Best in Local Media” award for 2023. The honor, states a release, was part of SBJ’s fifth-annual “Year-End Awards,” which recognize the most notable people, moments, companies, and places in the sports industry.
“This year was a transformational period for Monumental Sports Network, as we worked to maximize the value of our newly reacquired local rights and create a best-in-class viewing experience for our subscribers,” said Zach Leonsis, President of Media & New Enterprises at Monumental Sports & Entertainment. “Our goal is to build the best local media platform in sports and this honor reflects the significant investment we’ve made in our fanbase.”
The “Best in Local Media” award was selected by the editorial staff at SBJ and is featured in this week’s print edition, on the SBJ website, and social media channels. 2023 marked the second year that an award was given in this category. YES Network won the inaugural honor last year.
In August 2022, continues the release, “Monumental Sports & Entertainment acquired full ownership of NBC Sports Washington from Comcast/NBC Universal. Since that acquisition, the network – which owns the local broadcast rights for the NHL’s Washington Capitals, NBA’s Washington Wizards, and WNBA’s Washington Mystics – has undergone an extensive transformation into a state-of-the-art digitally focused media platform.
“This process included a complete rebrand and relaunch as Monumental Sports Network, replacing all instances of the NBC Sports Washington brand and logo and extending to new on-air graphics and digital aesthetics. The network also underwent a programming overhaul for the 2023-24 season, including multiple in-game enhancements, new original programming, alternate feeds of live games, and additional on-air talent, including national media personality Rachel Nichols.
“In addition to the brand and programming enhancements, Monumental Sports Network created a new digital streaming experience to replace all legacy apps and websites. The fresh digital platform – optimized for desktop, tablet, and mobile – allows fans to enjoy enhanced experiences for live streaming of games and their respective pre- and post-game shows, on-demand programs that they can add to their watch list, articles and blog posts that cover the latest Capitals, Wizards, and Mystics news, access to advanced statistics, ticket integrations, and more. For fans without cable subscriptions, in October the network executed the rollout of the D.C. region’s first-ever direct-to-consumer (DTC) service for local sports fans without a Pay TV subscription.”
“To receive such a notable accolade in our first full year of operation speaks to how quickly our network has established itself as one of the industry leaders in the regional sports network landscape,” added Leonsis. “I want to thank SBJ for recognizing our state-of-the-art platform, which is the product of countless hours of work from our team of talented, dedicated network employees.”
According to the release: “Monumental Sports & Entertainment’s largest piece of investment in the network has not yet been unveiled. In January 2024, the organization will open a state-of-the-art production facility and studios located adjacent to Capital One Arena in downtown Washington, D.C. The two-story, SMPTE 2110 facility will feature two major league quality studios which can combine on non-conflict nights to create one single regional telecast worthy experience.”