- Universal Sports
Universal Sports Launched 2006 (as World Championship Sports Network)
June 16, 2008 (as Universal Sports)
Network Universal Sports Owned by NBCUniversal and InterMedia Partners Picture format 480i Slogan The Athletes' Network Country United States Language English Broadcast area Nationwide Headquarters Westlake Village Studios
2 Dole Drive, Westlake Village, CA 91362
Formerly called World Championship Sports Network (WCSN) Sister channel(s) NBC Sports
NBC Sports Network
Website http://www.universalsports.com/ Availability Terrestrial See affiliate list Satellite DirecTV (US) Channel 625
Universal Sports is an American television network that airs various sports, primarily those contested in the Olympic Games, including swimming, gymnastics, cycling, track and field, figure skating, skiing, bobsledding and triathlon.
Universal Sports Network televises more than 1,200 hours of premiere programming each year.[when?] It covers over 30 sports, including World Championships, World Cups and Grand Prix Events. The range of these events include:
The channel has long-term broadcasting agreements with the:
- International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)
- International Cycling Union (UCI)
- International Federation of Gymnastics (FIG)
- International Rowing Federation (FISA)
- International Ski Federation (FIS)
- International Swimming Federation (FINA)
- International Rugby Board (IRB)
- Major League Lacrosse (MLL)
It carried the 2008 Summer Paralympics from Beijing, China, from October 8 to November 19, 2008. On September 9, 2008, it also began the "Olympic Replay", rebroadcasting selected competitions from the 2008 Summer Olympics, also from Beijing. The channel played a large role in NBC Universal's coverage of the 2010 Winter Paralympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
The channel provides year-round coverage of events that generally receive attention every few years. Through the television and internet streaming, a fan can see how Olympic athletes compete between the games. It promotes itself as "the athlete's network", and extends its coverage through blogs and interviews outside of competition.
On 17 June 2010 Universal Sports along with the IRB announced that the channel would bring "unprecedented national television and digital media coverage of the 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cup tournaments.". This statement was issued jointly by Universal Sports CEO David Sternberg and the Secretary General of the IRB Mike Miller[disambiguation needed ].
As reported by Olympic news outlet Around the Rings, Universal Sports and Infront Sports and Media announced an exclusive media rights agreement for the International Ski Federation World Cup events in 2011-2012.
Besides the sports coverage, the channel broadcasts educational and informational programming.
The channel, originally called World Championship Sports Network (WCSN), was co-founded in 2006 by Claude Ruibal, its chairman and chief executive officer, and Tom Hipkins, a member of the channel's board of directors, with the help of Carlos Silva, its president and chief operating officer, One of its first events was coverage of the United States Track and Field Championships via streaming video.[clarification needed]
On several stations, the rebranded channel took over the digital subchannel formerly used by NBC Weather Plus, which was discontinued December 31, 2008, not long after NBC Universal purchased The Weather Channel.
Until early 2012, Universal Sports is distributed by:
- over-the-air broadcast (OTA) on a digital subchannel on all NBC-owned and -operated stations along with many affiliated and independent stations (see below)
- digital cable systems (re-transmitted from the OTA affiliates)
- an online streaming video service
- satellite via DirecTV
On September 12, 2011, it was announced that Universal Sports would convert to being exclusively distributed to cable and satellite providers, and would no longer operate as an over-the-air digital multicast network beginning in early 2012, not long after NBC Universal was bought by Comcast and took over operations of Versus. On the month before the announcement happened, in August 2011, DirecTV became the first provider to carry Universal Sports as a basic network.
- ^ a b c d e f About Universal Sports Retrieved October 28, 2008
- ^ Universal Sports, Universal Sports, NBC to broadcast Rugby World Cup , 
- ^ IRB, Rugby World Cup to make US network TV debut
- ^ NBC Universal, World Championship Sports Network Join Forces on Olympic Games Site Retrieved September 1, 2008
- ^ Cable Show 2011: Universal Sports Scores Multiyear Distribution Pact With DirecTV Multichannel News June 15, 2011
- ^ Universal Sports Dropping Multicast Outlets, TVNewsCheck, September 12, 2011.
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- ^ Co-owned with Dentsu.
- ^ 50%, with Viacom's Paramount Pictures.
- ^ Combined operation with InterMedia Partners.
- ^ a b c Co-owned with Blackstone Group and Bain Capital.
- ^ Co-owned with Corus Entertainment and Cookie Jar Group.
- ^ Co-owned with Mediaset.
- ^ a b The stations are co-owned with LIN TV in a joint venture (76% owned by NBC, 24% owned by LIN).
- ^ a b c The stations are owned by NBCUniversal, but are controlled by ZGS Broadcast Holdings.
- ^ Co-owned with News Corporation and The Walt Disney Company.
- ^ Co-owned with Microsoft in a joint venture (82% owned by NBC, 18% owned by Microsoft).
- ^ Co-owned with Corus Entertainment, Classic Media, Nelvana, Scholastic Books and ION Media Networks.
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