NBCU Offers Digital Sports Net to Stations

Oct 13, 2008  •  Post A Comment

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.
(Updated: Digital clarification. Oct. 14, 2:40 p.m.)


  1. Wait, so NBC O&O will have TWO high def feeds going out over the air via multicasting? Is that even possible without macroblocking as bad as watching video over dialup? That can’t be right…

  2. We have it in DC. They put it on just minutes before the start of a Reskins game. Viewers with certain TV’s lost the main channel video(4.1) for 3 weeks. They wouldn’t respond to complaints; they wouldn’t put it back to the way it was before they screwed it up. The picture looks like crap with lots of macroblocking. Who in their right mind would think of doing sports on one of these low bit rate channels? Madness.

  3. I just found this network tonight when I rescanned my converter box.
    I would imagine that it would not look very good on a large HDTV but it is pretty decent on my SD CRT set.
    You can see some compression artifacts but it is not bad, Way better than early web sports like mlb.com in the early days.
    Here the main station, 13.1 is HD, USN is just SD.

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