Universal Sports Inks Four-Year Deal to Broadcast the Vuelta a Espana

Anyone who knows me is aware that I’m not the least bit interested in professional road cycling. The best I can offer is that Alberto Contador and I share the same opinion about Lance Armstrong. At least LeMond did it with a minimum of controversy, other than his aero bar. Anyway, for those that are into skinny tire racing, this is some good news:

LOS ANGELES (July 28, 2009) -Universal Sports announced today it has inked an exclusive four-year multimedia deal to broadcast the Vuelta a Espana (Tour of Spain), a three-week road cycling stage race that is one of the three Grand Tours of Europe and part of the UCI World Ranking calendar. Universal Sports will broadcast throughout next month‘s Vuelta, beginning with the start in Assen, Holland, on August 29, and ending in Madrid, Spain, on September 22.

The Vuelta will join the Giro d‘Italia in Universal Sports‘ cycling schedule, giving the network two of the three Grand Tours and firmly establishing Universal Sports as the cable leader in cycling coverage. Additional cycling events on Universal Sports include the Tour of the Basque Country, the Road Cycling and Track Cycling World Championships, other UCI Road and Track events, BMX World Championships, Mountain Bike, Cyclocross and more.

“We‘re thrilled to have the Vuelta as part of our growing cycling lineup, allowing us to provide viewers with more of the world‘s top cycling events, including two of the three Grands,” said Carlos Silva, president and COO of Universal Sports. “Collectively between Universal Sports and UniversalSports.com, we‘ll show every moment of this exciting competition, offering the most broadcast and online coverage of the Vuelta ever.”

Coverage will be led by David Michaels, executive producer of Universal Sports, who brings more than 30 years experience in producing international cycling events. Michaels produced Universal‘s highly acclaimed coverage of the 2009 Giro d‘Italia this past May.

Universal Sports will provide more than nine hours of Vuelta programming every day during the three-week event. Every stage will be shown LIVE at UniversalSports.com every morning and replayed on Universal Sports network. Each night, Universal Sports will show an enhanced stage replay in Primetime. Additionally, UniversalSports.com will have an online TRACKER that will show each rider‘s location on the course, stage maps, and integrated videos. The site will also offer full-length videos, highlights, photos, recaps, and behind-the-scenes interviews.

ABOUT UNIVERSAL SPORTS: Universal Sports, a partnership between NBC Sports and InterMedia Partners, serves as the preeminent multiplatform destination for Olympic-related and lifestyle sports programming available on television and online. Universal Sports, available in 56 million homes, is in nine of the top 10 DMAs including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Francisco, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Houston, Seattle and Denver. Major world championship and Olympic qualifying events found on Universal Sports range from track and field, skiing, swimming, gymnastics, marathons and cycling, to volleyball, rowing, triathlon, fencing, speed skating and martial arts. UniversalSports.com delivers an immersive experience via live and on-demand competition coverage, as well as interaction with top athletes through blogs and in-depth access to Olympic sports news and information year round. For more information on the availability of the Universal Sports 24-hour television channel, please visit UniversalSports.tv.

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