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ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Aug 06, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ — DISH Network Corporation (Nasdaq: DISH), the nation’s third-largest pay-TV provider and the digital transition leader, today announced its agreement with NBC Universal (NBCU) to add two high-definition specialty channels to its HD line-up solely dedicated to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The NBC Olympic Soccer Channel and NBC Olympic Basketball Channel will offer customers HD coverage of each sport for 24-hours per day during the Games.
In addition, DISH Network is offering a number of Video On Demand (VOD) titles produced by NBC Olympics for its millions of subscribers. With two dedicated HD channels, free VOD and NBCU’s multichannel distribution, DISH Network offers its subscribers more than 800 hours of NBCU’s HD 2008 Beijing Olympic Games content.
"We are excited to utilize the full-extent of our services to offer the best of NBCU’s coverage of the Olympic Games for our subscribers," said Eric Sahl, senior vice president of Programming for DISH Network. "DISH Network is a leader in sports and HD; our more than 800 hours of NBC’s Olympic coverage demonstrates our ability to use our services to deliver live HD and recorded content, as well as daily highlights and recaps, to ensure our subscribers enjoy comprehensive coverage of the Games."
"What better way to feel the drama and excitement of the 2008 Beijing Olympics Games than to experience them in HD," said Bridget Baker, president, TV Networks Distribution, NBC Universal. "We’re proud to partner with DISH and offer their customers unprecedented HD coverage of the world’s premier athletic event."
DISH Network will provide NBCU’s HD sport-specific channels: NBC Olympic Basketball Channel (Ch. 98) and NBC Olympic Soccer Channel (Ch. 99) to many DISH Network subscribers, and can be found on the program guide under the call letters "OLYMPB." Each channel will broadcast 24-hours per day of HD content separated into two looping 12-hour blocks of Olympic basketball and soccer action.
The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games will air on a number of NBCU’s channels, which are carried by DISH Network. NBC HD will air 225 hours of HD content; USA HD will air 165 hours of HD content; CNBC HD will air 95.5 hours of HD content; and Universal HD (available to DISH Network subscribers in Platinum HD) will air 379 hours of HD content.
DISH Network is currently offering NBCU’s free Video On Demand (DISH On Demand) content leading up to the summer games including 60 clips across several categories: Beijing 411; Meet the Athletes; and Team USA Preview. DISH On Demand is available by pressing the DVR button on your DISH Network remote control or by selecting the "TV Entertainment" section on DishHOME (Ch. 100). At the start of the Games, the In-Games package will feature daily highlights, in addition to access to the best events each day. Content includes overall daily highlights by sport (approximately 15 per day, some in HD), and "Rewind," approximately five to 10 of the best sessions/games per day.
DISH Network will offer customers NBC’s foreign language coverage from Beijing with commentary in one of the host country’s native tongues, Mandarin (Chinese), as well as Korean, for approximately six hours per day for each language during the Games. The Chinese broadcast will be offered on Ch. 664 under the "OLYMPC" call letters, and the Korean broadcast will be offered on Ch. 655 under the "OLYMPK" call letters, and are live beginning August 8, 2008.
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