Comcast’s NBC bets viewers will watch Olympics year-round – MarketWatch

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Olympic fans take photographs and pose for selfies in front of the Olympic rings on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, on 30 July 2016.

Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal unit will launch an Olympic television channel in the summer of 2017 in a joint venture with the International and U.S. Olympic Committees, according to executives involved in the venture.

The planned launch, which the organizations will formally announce Thursday, comes amid falling ratings for the Olympics in the U.S. and a renewed effort by the IOC to create a new generation of Olympic sports fans. The new channel will be one of a number of Olympic-branded local, digital and television networks that will show competitions and other Olympic programming in dozens of countries every day of the year.

For NBCUniversal

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  , which has committed $8 billion to secure all media rights associated with the Olympics in the U.S. through 2032, the channel represents a doubling down on its investments and an effort to try to keep people interested in Olympic sports in the years between the 17-day sports festivals.

“It’s a component of this large investment we have made in Olympics over a very long time,” said Gary Zenkel, president of NBC Olympics.

An expanded version of this article appears on .

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