FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 19th, 2015
NBC SPORTS GROUP AND UNIVERSAL SPORTS NETWORK TO PROVIDE UNPRECEDENTED USA WRESTLING COVERAGE IN 2015
NBCSN and Universal Sports Network Combine to Present More Than 12 Hours of Coverage From Major Wrestling Competitions This Season
Colorado Springs, Colo. (March 19, 2015) – USA Wrestling, NBC Sports Group and Universal Sports Network have reached an agreement on a historic partnership to present unprecedented coverage of Olympic-style wrestling events held in the United States during the 2015 season.
NBCSN and Universal Sports Network will combine to present nine USA Wrestling telecasts from five events, including five live telecasts, and more than 12 hours of total coverage, the most live content in a single season in USA Wrestling history.
In addition, NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets – will provide streaming coverage alongside all of NBCSN’s USA Wrestling telecasts. UniversalSports.com will stream all of Universal Sports’ broadcast coverage.
The following are the five events that will be telecast on NBCSN and Universal Sports Network in 2015:
- Freestyle World Cup in Los Angeles, Calif., April 11-12
- S. Open in Las Vegas, Nev., May 8-9
- Beat the Streets USA vs. Cuba dual in New York, N.Y., May 21
- Greco-Roman World Team Trials Wrestle-off in Ithaca, N.Y., June 4
- S. World Team Trials in Madison, Wis., June 13-14
Last year, USA Wrestling signed its first multi-event media-rights agreement ever, with four events on Universal Sports, and also worked with NBCSN to present the Beat the Streets dual meet. The expanded schedule represents an increased commitment by both networks to cover Olympic-caliber wrestling.
“Congratulations to USA Wrestling’s Finance Committee and Board of Directors for their vision in investing last year to raise wrestling’s television profile. This investment paid off with our most significant television deal in our history. Because we were able to show that international wrestling drives viewership, this new historic deal came to fruition. A special thanks to the U.S. Olympic Committee, NBC Sports, Universal Sports Network for their belief in wrestling. This would not have been possible without the efforts of Allan Finehirsh and Christian Holiday, and the support of Beat the Streets New York,” said USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender.
“We’re proud to bring unprecedented coverage of USA Wrestling to NBCSN this year,” said Gary Quinn, Vice President, Programming, NBC Sports Group. “The 2016 Olympic Games in Rio are just around the corner, and our USA Wrestling coverage represents our ongoing commitment to support and grow Olympic sports in the United States.”
“We are pleased to provide a home for USA Wrestling’s premier events and bring some much-deserved attention to a sport steeped in Olympic history,” said Universal Sports’ President Scott Brown. “This multi-platform media agreement demonstrates and reinforces our commitment to deliver world-class event programming to our passionate fan base.”
The 2015 wrestling season begins with the Freestyle Wrestling World Cup in Los Angeles, Calif., on April 11-12, featuring the top 10 men’s freestyle wrestling teams in the world. World and Olympic medalists expected to compete include American star Jordan Burroughs, a 2012 Olympic champion and two-time World champion. World powers Iran and Russia are included in the field, along with Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cuba, Mongolia and Turkey.
The U.S. Open, which takes place on the weekend of May 8-9 in Las Vegas, Nev., serves as the annual U.S. national championships in the three Olympic styles: men’s freestyle, women’s freestyle and Greco-Roman. The nation’s best wrestlers will battle for national titles and All-American honors in an event with more than a century of tradition in the United States. Among the athletes expected to compete are Olympic champions Jordan Burroughs and Jake Varner, Olympic medalists Clarissa Chun, Coleman Scott and Randi Miller, and World champions Adeline Gray, Elena Pirozhkova and Iris Smith.
The Beat the Streets Dual Meet, featuring the United States and Cuba, will be held in New York City on May 21. This will be the fourth straight year that NBCSN has broadcast the popular dual meet, an event which has also appeared on Universal Sports in the past. Top Olympic hopefuls in all three disciplines will compete in challenge matches.
The U.S. Greco-Roman World Team Trials, set for Ithaca, N.Y., on Saturday, June 4. The exciting new format for the Greco-Roman team selection will feature the top two wrestlers in each weight class, competing for spots on the U.S. team which will compete in the World Championships in Las Vegas this September.
The U.S. World Team Trials will be held in Madison, Wis., June 13-14. The event features many of the nation’s top men’s and women’s freestyle wrestlers, and also serves as a qualifying event for the U.S. team which will compete in the World Wrestling Championships in Las Vegas in September.
Through the historic media agreement, sports fans will have an unprecedented opportunity to see more USA Wrestling competition on national television than ever.
“We are extremely excited to work with our broadcast partners to offer the opportunity to literally millions of American sports fans to enjoy man’s oldest and greatest sport on television,” added Bender.
NBCSN and Universal Sports Broadcast Schedule: 2015 USA Wrestling
All Times Eastern –Subject to Change
|Sunday, April 12||Freestyle World Cup bronze medal||Universal Sports||7:30 p.m.|
|Sunday, April 12||Freestyle World Cup gold medal||NBCSN||9 p.m.|
|Saturday, May 9||U.S. Open Finals||Universal Sports||10 p.m.|
|Wednesday, May 13||U.S. Open Finals||NBCSN||11:30 p.m.*|
|Thursday, May 21||Beat the Streets||NBCSN||Midnight*|
|Wednesday, May 27||Beat the Streets||Universal Sports||5 p.m.*|
|Friday, June 12||Greco-Roman World Team Trials Wrestle-off||Universal Sports||7 p.m.|
|Sunday, June 14||U.S. World Team Trials Finals||NBCSN||7 p.m.|
|Sunday, June 14||U.S. World Team Trials Finals||Universal Sports||4 p.m.*|
*denotes tape-delayed presentation
About NBC Sports
When the Comcast-NBCUniversal transaction was completed in January 2011, the sports assets of the two companies combined to form NBC Sports Group, which serves sports fans 24/7 with premier live events, insightful studio shows, and compelling original programming. The sports media company consists of a unique array of sports assets, including NBC Sports, NBC Olympics, NBCSN (NBC Sports Network), Golf Channel, 10 NBC Sports Regional Networks, NBC Sports Radio and NBC Sports Digital. NBC Sports Group possesses an unparalleled collection of television rights agreements, partnering with some of the most prestigious sports properties in the world: the International Olympic Committee and United States Olympic Committee, the NFL, NHL, NASCAR, PGA TOUR, PGA of America, Churchill Downs, Premier League, Tour de France, French Open, Formula One, IndyCar and many more.
About Universal Sports Network
Universal Sports Network, a partnership between NBC Sports and InterMedia Partners, LP, is the premier multi-platform media destination for Olympic-related sports programming in the United States. Offering more than 1,200 hours of original programming each year, Universal Sports 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.
About USA Wrestling
USA Wrestling is the National Governing Body for the Sport of Wrestling in the United States and, as such, is its representative to the United States Olympic Committee and United World Wrestling. Simply, USA Wrestling is the central organization that coordinates amateur wrestling programs in the nation and works to create interest and participation in these programs. Its president is James Ravannack, and its Executive Director is Rich Bender.