From TV Week
NBCU Offers Digital Sports Net to Stations
By Sergio Ibarra
NBC Universal is offering its owned-and-operated stations and affiliates pickup of Universal Sports, a 24/7 digital sports network, in the wake of terminating its Weather Plus operation.
NBCU affiliate stations have been extended a first refusal offer until Dec. 1. Rollout has already begun on all O&O multicast signals and some affiliates, reaching 30 million homes.
Universal Sports offers some 2,400 hours of live programming per year, in addition to 5,000 hours of archival footage. The channel also has exclusive local coverage of many Olympic sports events, including track and field, skiing, swimming and gymnastics.
Local affiliates will also be given five minutes of local ad time per hour, 10 hours of infomercials or local sports programming per week, seven hours per week of local sports-related programming, highlight clips for local news shows and online content for local Web sites.
Universal Sports will begin airing the World Cup Ski Season from October through March, as well as the 2008 Beijing Paralympics beginning in November. The network will also air Olympic trials, highlights and encores throughout the year.