Universal Sports and DIRECTV Announce Multi-Year Distribution Deal
Network will be Available on Top U.S. Satellite Provider beginning in August
Los Angeles, CA – June 15, 2011-- Universal Sports Network, the premier destination for Olympic-related sports programming, and DIRECTV, the world’s largest pay TV provider, today announced a multi-year, multi-platform distribution agreement, the first between the two companies. Under the terms of the deal, the network plans to launch on a free preview basis to all DIRECTV customers by early August, before moving to DIRECTV’s SPORTS PACK and other select packages on October 1, 2011. The announcement was made today by David Sternberg, CEO, Universal Sports and Derek Chang, EVP, Content Strategy and Development, DIRECTV.
In addition to the linear TV network, Universal Sports’ ownership of full digital rights to its content will allow DIRECTV’s customers to enjoy the network’s programming on the Internet, mobile devices and tablets as DIRECTV rolls out its multiplatform offerings in the near future. Universal Sports subscribers will also have access to supplemental live Internet streams of events not aired on the linear network.
“DIRECTV is the recognized leader in sports and we are very excited to be joining DIRECTV’s incredible lineup of sports programming with our multi-screen content offering,” said Sternberg. “This is an important step forward for both Universal Sports and DIRECTV’s customers, who will soon have the opportunity to watch all of our world-class sports coverage on any devices they want. We look forward to enhancing DIRECTV’s value proposition to all sports fans.”
“With the launch of Universal Sports Network in SPORTS PACK, we are enabling the many sports fans across our customer base to discover the wide variety of Olympic-related sports coverage available on this unique channel,” said Chang. “And it’s a great warm-up for next year’s Olympics telecast.”
DIRECTV’s 19.4 million U.S. customers will enjoy the initial free preview and can watch the world’s top athletes competing in championship events from around the globe this summer, including the U.S. Swimming National Championships in early August, the IAAF Track and Field World Championships in late August and the third and final Grand Tour of the summer cycling season, the Vuelta a España (starting August 20). Among the Olympians expected to compete exclusively on Universal Sports will be swimmers Ryan Lochte and Natalie Coughlin, sprinters Usain Bolt and Tyson Gay and cyclists Alberto Contador and Mark Cavendish. Most of these athletes and more will be prominent in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England.
Then, beginning in September, DIRECTV viewers will be able to check out on both Universal Sports and DIRECTV pay-per-view the 2011 Rugby World Cup, where host New Zealand, England, South Africa and the U.S. will compete for the sport’s quadrennial world championship. Select matches of the Rugby World Cup, as well as certain events from the IAAF World Championships, will also be made available to DIRECTV in 3D, a first for Universal Sports.
ABOUT UNIVERSAL SPORTS:
Universal Sports, a partnership between NBC Sports and InterMedia Partners, LP, is the premier multi-platform media destination for Olympic-related sports programming in the United States. Universal Sports is available in
52 markets nationwide, including all of the nation’s top 10 media markets and 20 of the top 25. Major world championship sports events aired on Universal Sports include track and field, skiing, swimming, gymnastics, marathons, figure skating, cycling and rugby. The network’s website, UniversalSports.com, delivers an immersive user experience via live and on-demand competition coverage, interaction with top athletes through interviews and blogs and in-depth access to Olympic sports news and information year-round. For more information, please visit UniversalSports.com.
DIRECTV (NASDAQ: DTV) is the world’s largest pay TV provider delivering the premiere video experience through state-of-the-art technology, unmatched programming and industry leading customer service to more than 29.4 million customers in the U.S. and Latin America. In the U.S., DIRECTV offers its 19.4 million customers access to more than 170 HD channels and Dolby-Digital® 5.1 theater-quality sound (when available), access to exclusive sports programming such as NFL SUNDAY TICKET™, award winning technology like its DIRECTV® DVR Scheduler and higher customer satisfaction than the leading cable companies for ten years running. DIRECTV Latin America, through its subsidiaries and affiliated companies in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, and other Latin American countries, leads the pay-TV category in technology, programming and service, delivering an unrivaled digital television experience to 10 million customers. DIRECTV sports and entertainment properties include three Regional Sports Networks (Northwest, Rocky Mountain and Pittsburgh) as well as a 60 percent interest in Game Show Network. For the most up-to-date information on DIRECTV, please call 1-800-DIRECTV or visit directv.com.
Kevin Endsley Robert Mercer
Universal Sports Network DIRECTV
(818) 661-4188 (310) 964-4683