College Sports Television will launch U.S. Olympic Pursuit, a
primetime anthology series, this fall in partnership with the U.S. Olympic
The multihour program will mix live and taped events, post-event interviews
and athlete/sport profile pieces, similar to the heyday of ABC's Wild World
of Sports and other sports series of this nature.
Although CSTV will carry events from Olympic Games sports through the
project, this will not be a home for U.S. Olympics trials, which NBC has
exclusive rights to through 2012 under a separate USOC agreement.
Some episodes will be devoted to a single event, while others will carry live
and taped coverage of three to five events, CSTV CEO Brian Bedol said. Host,
events and event-announcing teams will be named shortly before the series
USOC entertainment-properties chief Keith Allo said CSTV was the network to
go with due to its nature and willingness to do a primetime anthology series,
rather than ESPN, Fox Sports Net and other venues with universal cable
Earlier Monday, CSTV lined up Insight Communications Co. Inc. as its first
MSO affiliate, with Insight running the digital service on a sports/lifestyle
tier in all of its markets.
"Trying to get ESPN to do a weekly show, or Fox or someone else to invest in
a show like this, is tough," Allo said during a conference call on the agreement
Monday afternoon. "CSTV is a natural fit, a channel that has the same audience
we're out to reach and a growth opportunity."
He added that ESPN, Fox Sports and other channels have programming deals with
competing amateur sports entities.
CSTV's current cable-distribution snapshot "will not be a snapshot of what
we'll look like three or six months from now," Bedol said. "The reality is that
MSOs have developed strong ways to get new networks distributed quicker. I have
every confidence we'll be able to get broader distribution soon."
The Coca-Cola Co., which owns equity in CSTV, will be a primary