Universal Sports Network and USA Swimming announced today the extension of their agreement to air USA Swimming's marquee events in the U.S. through 2016. The deal gives Universal Sports exclusive multiplatform rights to the annual Arena Grand Prix Series as well as rights to other USA Swimming Grand Prix competitions.
The announcement comes in advance of The Austin Grand Prix, the second stop of the 2012-2013 Arena Grand Prix Series, which will air exclusively LIVE on Universal Sports on January 19 and 20 at 7 PM ET.
The three-day meet in Austin, Texas is slated to feature a marquee line-up of swimming stars, including Olympic gold medalists Missy Franklin, Ryan Lochte, Nathan Adrian, Ricky Berens and Tyler Clary. Calling the network's coverage in Austin will be veteran play-by-play announcer Paul Sunderland and analyst Rowdy Gaines, a three-time Olympic gold medalist.
Universal Sports will cover all remaining events of the 2012-2013 Arena Grand Prix Series this year following Austin, including meets in Orlando, Florida; Mesa, Arizona; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Santa Clara, California. Then, beginning on July 20, Universal Sports will team with NBC Sports to present exclusive coverage of the 2013 FINA Aquatics World Championships in Barcelona, Spain, featuring many of the top stars of the USA Swimming team.
"We are pleased to continue our partnership with USA Swimming, and build upon the success of the past four years of our relationship," said David Sternberg, CEO of Universal Sports. "Swimming is an integral part of our programming lineup, and this agreement reinforces our commitment to these outstanding athletes and providing the growing U.S. Swimming community with the events they crave."
USA Swimming recently announced new details for the 2012-2013 Arena Grand Prix Series, including $150,000 in prize money. The federation's new eight-year partnership with Arena offers swimmers the opportunity to take home prize money for top finishes in all individual Olympic-distance events. (Swimmers with remaining NCAA eligibility will not be able to accept event prize money.)
"Our extended partnership with Universal Sports allows swim fans the opportunity to watch world-class swimming throughout the year, not just once every four years," said Mike Unger, USA Swimming Assistant Executive Director. "From our enhanced broadcast scheduled to the addition of $150,000 in prize money, we're excited to continue to grow the Arena Grand Prix Series."
For up-to-date schedules, video highlights and photos of Universal Sports' swimming coverage, logon to UniversalSports.com/swimming.
Universal Sports Network Broadcast Schedule: USA Swimming's 2012-2013 Arena Grand Prix Series
ALL TIMES ET - subject to change
Date Time (ET) Location Event
January 19 7-8:30 PM LIVE Austin, TX 2013 Austin Grand Prix
January 20 7-8:30 PM LIVE Austin, TX 2013 Austin Grand Prix
February 15 6-7:30 PM LIVE Orlando, FL 2013 Orlando Grand Prix
February 16 6-7:30 PM LIVE Orlando, FL 2013 Orlando Grand Prix
April 11 8-9:30 PM LIVE Mesa, AZ 2013 Mesa Grand Prix
April 12 8-9:30 PM LIVE Mesa, AZ 2013 Mesa Grand Prix
May 11 6-7:30 PM LIVE Charlotte, NC 2013 Charlotte UltraSwim Grand Prix
May 12 6-7:30 PM LIVE Charlotte, NC 2013 Charlotte UltraSwim Grand Prix
May 31 8-9:30 PM LIVE Santa Clara, CA 2013 Santa Clara Grand Prix
June 1 8-9:30 PM LIVE Santa Clara, CA 2013 Santa Clara Grand Prix
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