This shouldn’t come as a shock, but the network assets of the Olympics-focused Universal Sports Network — which went dark today — were just picked up by the broadcaster with the biggest investment in the games: NBCUniversal.
Comcast’s entertainment arm plans to offer events including swimming, track and field, gymnastics, figure skating, skiing, cycling, triathlon and volleyball on NBC Sports Group outlets. They include NBCSN, Universal HD and streaming service NBC Sports Live Extra.
The companies didn’t disclose economic terms of the new arrangement. NBCU already owned 8% of Universal Sports in a partnership with InterMedia Partners, which controlled the channel. It was founded in 2006 as World Championship Sports and rebranded in 2008.
Universal Sports Network Being Shuttered By NBCU
“Acquiring these valuable media rights builds on our long-term investment in the Olympic Games through 2032, and reaffirms our commitment to Olympic sports and the stories of the great athletes who compete in them,” NBC Olympics President Gary Zenke says. “We now have a great opportunity to engage with the Olympic-sport audience year round and inspire the next generation of Olympic fans, which is a critical part of our ongoing Olympic strategy.”
Universal Sports was originally launched as an over-the-air multicast channel. It changed into a pay TV service in 2012, but was unable to secure carriage on some major systems including Cablevision.
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