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NBC to pull plug on Olympic Channel

(Logo courtesy Comcast/NBC Universal/International Olympic Committee, Graphic by The Desk)

Comcast’s NBC Universal says it will stop offering a localized version of the Olympic Channel on cable, satellite and streaming platforms later this year.

The move, announced last Saturday, would bring to a close NBC’s last national sports network after the company shut down its NBCSN channel late last year.

“In order to best reach our target audiences, we are reevaluating our programming distribution strategy regarding the content that currently airs on Olympic Channel,” a spokesperson for NBC Universal said in a statement.

The channel is a localized version of a global network programmed by the International Olympic Committee. The channel went live following the conclusion of the 2016 Summer Games and served as one of several television networks owned by NBC that offered live and tape-delayed access to the 2018 and 2022 Winter Games as well as the 2020 Summer Games (which aired in 2021 due to the coronavirus health pandemic).

NBC says its Olympic programming will continue to air across its broadcast and cable networks as well as on its streaming platform Peacock. The network has the domestic television rights to the Olympics through 2032, which it paid nearly $8 billion to secure.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).