Universal Sports Scores Trio of Distribution Deals


Bolstering its presence on the West Coast, Universal Sports Network has inked a three of distribution deals.
The Olympic-sports proponent has concluded multiyear carriage pacts with Bend Broadband, Wave Broadband and Local Tel. Financial terms of the pacts were not disclosed.
"It is a testament to the value of Universal Sports Network and the coveted audience we provide that distributors are adding our network to their channel lineups and offering their subscribers access to our rights to some of the world's biggest sporting events," said David Sternberg, CEO of Universal Sports, in announcing the pacts. "We are pleased to add these affiliates to our growing list of distribution partners and look forward to long and successful relationships with each of them."
The new distribution contracts follow Universal Sports's deal with Dish Network in February, as well as Cascade Communications in Oregon, GCI in Alaska, Hiawatha Broadband Communications in Minnesota, MTC Cable in New York, Waitsfield Cable in Vermont and IPTV distributor SkyAngel.
Universal Sports, a joint venture of Leo Hindery's InterMedia Partners L.P. and NBC Sports Group, converted to a cable network, license-fee model at year-end, after functioning previously as a multicast service. The programmer, which presents more than 1200 original hours annually, signed its first license-fee contract with DirecTV last summer.
With Bend Broadband and Wave Broadband in the fold, Universal Sports has augmented its subscriber base in key West Coast markets, including San Francisco, Sacramento and Rocklin, Calif. Seattle, Portland and Bend, Ore.
In addition, subscribers of Local Tel in Spokane, Wash. will also gain access to the network under a new agreement with the distributor.
During this Olympic year, the channel has featured exclusive English-language coverage of the women's and men's CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying soccer tournaments and will present the AIBA Americas Olympic boxing qualifying tournament in May. In addition, Universal Sports Network is the home of 23 World Championships in 2012, and it will once again deliver exclusive U.S. television coverage of such prestigious annual competitions as the Boston Marathon, Giro d'Italia, Vuelta a España and Kona Ironman.