DirecTV, NBCU Ink VOD Olympics Pact


DirecTV will be offering video-on-demand fare from the upcoming Summer Olympics.

The satellite leader has reached an accord with NBC Universal under which the programmer will supply 10 VOD weekly titles tied to Beijing Games, which run from Aug. 8 through 24.

The content, including athlete features and previews, will be available through the end of the Games. The content can be accessed by the distributors customers with DirecTV Plus HD DVR or R22 DVR receivers. To access the VOD content, customers with VOD-enabled DVRs can tune to channel 1008 or go to Channel 1000, the home of DirecTV on Demand, to see highlights of gold medal-winning performances.

For its part, NBCU is producing more than 500 VOD titles through the end of the 2008 Games, as part of its expansive coverage of the competition.

It was unclear if DirecTV's VOD deal was part of a more comprehensive Olympics package with NBCU. Many long-term Olympic deals, signed before the 2000 quadrennial from Sydney, are set to expire at conclusion of the Summer Games from Beijing. NBCU is said to be seeking a "premium fee" from distributors for digital and TV rights to the 2010 and 2012 Olympics, packages that included additional high-definition, video-on-demand, broadband and interactive content.

Both DirecTV and NBCU officials declined to discuss specifics of the pact.

“Our robust on demand offering for the 2008 Olympic Games is unprecedented and will provide our customers a unique way to access the exciting content from Beijing,” said Bridget Baker, president of NBCU TV Networks Distribution, in a statement.