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NBC to launch all-Olympic channel in deal with IOC, USOC

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NEW YORK (AP) – NBC is bringing year-round Olympic programming to the United States.

After years of trying, the U.S and International Olympic Committees have agreed with NBC on a package that will offer year-round Olympic programming, focused on U.S. athletes, the parties announced Thursday. NBC will launch a new U.S. television network branded “Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA” in the second half of 2017.

Scott Blackmun, the CEO of the USOC, calls the partnership “a wonderful way to turbocharge one of fastest-growing fan bases that’s out there.”

That channel will complement the IOC’s Olympic Channel, which launched on a worldwide digital platform after the Rio Games.

The programming will include archival footage and documentaries, along with original Team USA programming contributed by the USOC.

Mark Parkman, general manager of the Olympic Channel, said the IOC is planning on producing 250 hours of original programming per year. That programming will be available to the NBC network, and the USOC will also produce U.S.-focused content.

About 10 years ago, the USOC proposed launching its own version of an Olympic channel but got a tepid response from both NBC and the IOC, which didn’t want outside competition to their own programing. NBC owns U.S. rights to televise the games through 2032.

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