Report: Universal Sports channel will shut down next month

NBC will inherit the cable channel's Olympic sports portfolio, but it's unclear how this will affect cycling coverage in the US

Sports Business Daily reported today that the Universal Sports TV channel, which broadcasts a number of cycling events in the US, is shutting down next month.

Executives from NBC, Universal's parent company, told the channel's employees during a meeting in Los Angeles this morning and then notified distributors that its signal would be taken down November 16, according to the report.

Universal Sports broadcast the Vuelta a Espana in the US, along some of the Spring Classics and semi-Classics, the women's World Cups and multiple cyclo-cross races. Most recently the channel provided live coverage of CrossVegas, the first cyclo-cross World Cup of 2015.

NBC, which has previously broadcast the Tour de France, the Tour of California other major cycling events on its NBC Sports Network channel, will pick up Universal's portfolio of Olympic sports, but it's not clear at this time what will happen with the cycling events.

NBC Sports Group emailed a statement to Sports Business Daily saying, "We are thrilled to be finalizing an agreement with Universal Sports that will provide NBCUniversal and NBC Sports with an impressive collection of media rights to some of the world's most prestigious sporting events. We will have more information regarding our plans when the transaction closes in November."

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