NBC Universal (GE) just hired Fox Cable Networks’ David Sternberg to be CEO of its sports cable channel, Universal Sports.
According to Variety, Sternberg goal is to get Universal into more satellite and cable subscriber homes. Former VP of digital media for NBC Sports and Olympics, Perkins Miller, will join his task as COO.
NBC Universal and Intermedia Partners acquired World Champion Sports Network in 2008, and renamed it Universal Sports.
But the sports network hasn’t is available in 57 million homes in the United States.
It’s distribution is painfully low compared to the top sports media conglomerate, ESPN (DIS).
Four of ESPN’s six domestic cable Networks crush Universal Sports’ viewership figures: ESPN is currently in 99 million homes; ESPN2 – 98.8 million; ESPNews – 72.7 million; ESPNU – 70.5 million; Even ESPN Classic is on par with Universal Sports — it is in 56.7 million homes, according to ESPN.
Although the sporting world’s big events — like college basketball and the NFL — are what draw viewers, Sternberg will be selling the network on niche, “Olympics-type” sports like track and field, karate, and volleyball.
Universal Sports has partnerships with the International Rowing Federation, the International Swimming Federation, and the International Gymnastics Federation.
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