After being teased with a one month trial back in September of 2009 when Versus was pulled from DirecTV, Universal Sports is now on the satellite provider full-time as of today. The channel will be in the provider’s Sports Pack on channel 625. Universal has been in the midst of providing coverage of the World Swimming Championships from Communist China and in late August, the network owned by NBC Universal will air exclusive coverage of the IAAF World Championships from Daegu, South Korea. It’s about time Universal Sports has hit DirecTV and this provides the channel with access to as many as 19 million subscribers. From now until September, all DirecTV viewers will be able to see the Universal before it goes behind the Sports Pack tier. We have the giddy press release from Universal Sports.
Los Angeles, CA – July 27, 2011 — Universal Sports is making its DirecTV debut today on channel 625. For the first time ever, DIRECTV’s 19.4 million U.S. customers will be able to watch the world’s top athletes competing in championship events from around the globe. including the Swimming World Championships currently underway in China, the IAAF Track and Field World Championships in late August, and the third and final Grand Tour of the summer cycling season, the Vuelta a España (starting August 20).
Universal Sports will also begin its new “Countdown to London” multi-platform programming today with one year to go before the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. The day of programming, entitled “Countdown to London, One Year to Go”, will give fans a special look back at the greatest moments from the 2008 Beijing Olympics, as well as, primetime coverage from the 2011 Swimming World Championships in Shanghai. The network’s 2008 Olympic Games retrospective will include the highlight series, “Pieces of 08”, and a re-airing of the captivating 2008 Opening Ceremony.
Beginning in September, DIRECTV viewers will be able to check out on both Universal Sports and DIRECTV pay-per-view the 2011 Rugby World Cup, where host New Zealand, England, South Africa and the U.S. will compete for the sport’s quadrennial world championship.
On June 15, 2011, Universal Sports and DIRECTV announced a multi-year, multi-platform distribution agreement, the first between the two companies. In the deal, the network agreed to launch on a free preview basis to all DIRECTV customers on July 27, before moving to DIRECTV’s SPORTS PACK and other select packages on October 1, 2011. Also, Universal Sports’ ownership of full digital rights to its content will allow DIRECTV’s customers to enjoy the network’s programming on the Internet, mobile devices and tablets as DIRECTV rolls out its multiplatform offerings in the near future.
I’m working on the links right now. I hope to have them finished before lunchtime on the East Coast.