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OLN ANNOUNCES NEW NETWORK NAME: VERSUS

Network Will Celebrate Competition and Sports

Stamford, CT (April 24, 2006) – As the NHL Playoffs get underway on OLN, the network announces that, as of September 2006, the channel will be known as Versus. The new moniker, a culmination of a two-year network evolution, was chosen not only for its bold nature, but because it universally evokes competition. Versus will focus squarely on competition and every aspect of the competitive world. Whether it is Man vs. Man, Man vs. Beast or Team vs. Team, the channel will celebrate sports at its best, where athletes and sportsmen compete at their highest levels with the greatest passion.

“Versus is a word that perfectly captures the essence of our brand,” said Gavin Harvey, President. “It is immediate shorthand for competition and has a range that can suit everything from stick and ball sports, to bull riding, to field sports. We felt it was a slam dunk, and sports fans we talked to all agreed.”

The network began soliciting name suggestions – both internally and externally – about a year ago. After sifting through hundreds of potential ideas, OLN began rigorously testing those the network felt had potential. Versus was the name that consistently rose to the top in focus group after focus group. Sports fans felt it was not only strong, but that it conveyed an idea and an energy that suggests a network experience centered on competition.

In addition to network mainstays like the NHL, The Tour de France and the Professional Bull Riders, Versus will continue to acquire tent pole events that audiences can’t find elsewhere. In the past two years alone, OLN has added a significant number of properties to its stable, including the America’s Cup, the Boston Marathon, the Iditarod, The Dakar Rally, World Cup Skiing and the Arena Football League. Focusing on exclusive events, the network will continue to present fans with the total fan experience for which the network became known for with its live, in-depth coverage of The Tour de France.

“All sports fans appreciate competition at the highest levels in all types of sports,” said Harvey. When they turn on Versus they can expect to see in-depth coverage of exclusive competitive events. It’s what we do best - super serve the fan, thereby building our reputation as THE place for championship sports coverage.”

Versus will also showcase the best of field sports programming and competition-themed original programming. As the home of field sports’ finest, OLN has seen both ratings and revenue growth in the genre for several years. Versus will not miss a beat, presenting the best hosts, the best producers and the best partners in the business and featuring programming that illustrates the innate competitiveness involved in chasing a bobwhite quail or landing a bigeye tuna.

“Field sports is one of the most time-honored, sporting traditions in America. Anyone who has been skunked on a hunting trip or told the story of ‘the one that got away’ can relate to that,” said Harvey. “Versus will continue to highlight the stories and traditions that make field sports so important to this network and to our fans.”

A logo, currently in development, will be unveiled in the coming months, as will the overall look and feel of the network. The full rollout, scheduled for the fall of 2006, will immediately precede the 2006-2007 NHL season and will be fully supported by an extensive, off-network consumer branding campaign.
 

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I hate OLN with a passion. The have no vision. They have no focus. The have no belief in cycling and the active sports audience they used to cater to.

They're just sniffing out any money with no direction. Their Survivor, hunting, hockey, gold panning and now 'Versus' is further proof.

I only put up with them because there is no alternative for cycling. 300 channels on US tv and no one has room for cycling.

But....
I just signed up for cycling.tv and it is awesome. OLN can go to hell. They should release rights to the Giro and the tour so we can all just watch it on the web.

francois
 

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francois said:
I hate OLN with a passion. The have no vision. They have no focus. The have no belief in cycling and the active sports audience they used to cater to.

They're just sniffing out any money with no direction. Their Survivor, hunting, hockey, gold panning and now 'Versus' is further proof.

I only put up with them because there is no alternative for cycling. 300 channels on US tv and no one has room for cycling.

But....
I just signed up for cycling.tv and it is awesome. OLN can go to hell. They should release rights to the Giro and the tour so we can all just watch it on the web.

francois
Seems like networks may be beginning to lose to internet-based "broadcasting" anyways.

I don't blame OLN for not showing cycling 24-7, it's a rather niche market, I am sure a lot more people watch hunting/fishing/bull riding. It's actually nice to have them devote as much time as they did in the past 5 or 6 years, ESPN would do 30-min recaps of the Tour and no classics or Giro or Vuleta at all.

Cycling.tv is a great way to watch cycling races. Archives mean you can re-watch it again and again. I only wish video quality was comparable to TV.
 
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