The United States Olympic Committee Wednesday revealed details of a new cable network to launch next year devoted entirely to Olympic sports.
The joint venture with Comcast will launch sometime after the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, starting off with distribution on Comcast’s digital basic tier.
I just got off a conference call with the USOC and here are some of the dirty details:
-The network will be called the U.S. Olympic Network, or “USON.”
-The basic idea is to bring larger exposure to the Olympic sports that most people don’t get to see that often. Judo and team handball were two examples presented.
-Other programming will include highlights from past games (the network has the rights to all archival footage) plus news and documentary-type programs.
-The network will have rights to the U.S. Olympic trials past 2012.
-There are no plans for the network to show the Olympic Games themselves.
-It was U.S. Olympic Committee sponsors that pushed for this, since they want to be able to leverage their relationship with the USOC every day as opposed to just around Olympic time.
-The USON isn’t too worried about ratings.
-The deal was put together by Allen and. Co., an investment bank that also structured the MLB Network deal.
More on this later and in tomorrow’s dead tree and online editions.