Universal Sports Network Unveils “Countdown to London;” Studio News Show to Follow Olympic Hopefuls

Universal Sports Network announced today a weekly studio news show titled Countdown to Londonthat will provide a comprehensive look at the most compellingstories leading up to the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Countdown to London will debut on April 18 at 8 p.m. ET, 100 days out from the start of the Games, and will air every following Wednesday until July 25. The debut show will be 90 minutes, with each subsequent episode lasting 60 minutes. The show will anchor Universal Sports Network’s exclusive coverage of Olympic qualifying and trials events during the coming three months.

Countdown to London will capture the excitement and anticipation of the lead up to London as the world’s best athletes prepare for the 2012 Olympic Games,” said David Sternberg, CEO of Universal Sports.  “Universal Sports airs the most Olympic sports programming of any network year in and year out, so no one is better positioned than we are todeliver all the news about the London Games in the next 100 days.”

Countdown to London will feature a weekly rundown of all the most important Olympic qualifying and trials events taking place in the U.S. and internationally, including extensive highlights footage.  The program will also showcase Olympic athletes through interviews and profiles, with scheduled guests including two-time Olympic gold medalists in volleyball Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, Olympic gold medalist gymnast Nastia Liukin, four-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Janet Evans, two-time bronze medalist sprinter Walter Dix, reigning Olympicgold medalist in decathlon Bryan Clay, world champion sprinter Carmelita Jeter and world champion hurdler Jason Richardson. Additional guests will be announced at a later date.

In addition, the show will feature a variety of recurring segments, including:

  • The Countdown Conversation with Fred Roggin presented by Budweiser: Guest segment hosted by Fred Roggin as he sits down with Olympians of the past and present, beginning with 1972 Olympic gold medalist marathoner Frank Shorter.
  • Reliving the Glory presented by Panasonic: Flashbacks to great moments in Olympic history with the airing of archived short films by legendary Olympic filmmaker Bud Greenspan.
  • On the Web presented by Dow: A social media roundup of what Olympic athletes are talking about across social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and blog sites.
  • Inside the Research Room: A check-in with the NBC Olympics production team to see what stories they are working on heading into the Games.
  • Additional content will include event previews, breaking news coverage and a weekly update from a journalist from London.

The show’s hosts include noted network announcers Craig Hummer, who has served as a play-by-play announcer for NBC’s Olympics coverage, and Amy Bender, veteran studio host and reporter. The show will also feature a mix of analysts, including three-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Rowdy Gaines, four-time Olympic medalist sprinter Ato Bolden, bronze medalist in beach volleyball Holly McPeak and Olympic gold medalist gymnast Tim Daggett, along with a number of other studio guests.

Universal Sports Network recently transitioned to a multi-platform, high definition cable, satellite and IPTV service. Currently, DIRECTV, DISH and numerous cable providers offer Universal Sports Network. Viewers whose cable, satellite or IPTV providers are not currently offering the network should call 1-800-55-GET-US or visit www.IWantUniversalSports.com and demand access to the network’s coverage of the world’s biggest championships.

Universal Sports, a partnership between NBC Sports and InterMedia Partners, LP, is the premier multi-platform mediadestination for Olympic-related sports programming in the United States.  Offering more than 1,200 hours of original programming each year, UniversalSports has exclusive rights to world and national championship events in a wide array of sports, including swimming, track and field, gymnastics, cycling, skiing, figure skating and rugby. Whether on television, online, or on the go with mobile and tablet applications, Universal Sports offers a four-screen experience to fans of global sports every day of the year. For more information, please visit UniversalSports.com.

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