Universal Sports Network expands distribution with Time Warner Cable deal
Universal Sports Network and Time Warner Cable (TWC) announced today a multi-year agreement to deliver the network’s exclusive year-round coverage of Olympic and endurance sports programming, including the FIS Alpine World Cup, to TWC’s Sports Pass subscribers.
Universal Sports Network will be available to TWC Sports Pass subscribers in the majority of TWC markets later this summer. The deal also gives TWC comprehensive TV Everywhere rights, VOD content and
Universal Sports Max, a secondary events broadband channel.
“We are thrilled that Time Warner Cable sees value in Universal Sports Network,” said Universal Sports President Scott Brown. “We look forward to serving Time Warner Cable’s customers with exciting, global sports coverage on multiple platforms.”
”Time Warner Cable customers will soon be able to enjoy the year-round coverage of championship sports programming found only on Universal Sports,” said Alexis Johnson, Vice President of Content Acquisition for Time Warner Cable. “We are delighted to be able to provide our Sports Pass subscribers with access to coverage of the Olympic sports they love on multiple platforms.”
Universal Sports is the sole provider of season-long FIS Alpine World Cup TV coverage in the U.S., and last season it discontinued its online alpine ski package, leaving all but satellite TV subscribers out in the cold.
When Universal Sports debuted some seven years ago, the network provided its feed for free to distributors, such as Time Warner and Direct TV. Then, at the end of 2011, Universal told the distributors that unless they made a deal, the network would be dropping the feed.
With the announcement of the Time Warner deal, the strategy seems to be paying off, presumably applying pressure to other cable companies to add Universal Sports to their lineup.