NBC Sports To Debut 'Lights'

Tour-de-France-AComing off its three-week Tour de France programming effort, the NBC Sports Network is now looking to push into basic sports programming for a cable sports network with sports highlights.

The cable sports network, NBC Sports Network, is starting up its first daily morning sports highlights show, "The 'Lights" on August 13, a day after the NBC broadcast network will conclude its big two-week London Summer Olympics effort.

"The 'Lights," which riffs off of the word "highlights," will air weekday morning in a two hour-programming block, from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. -- a place where many other sports highlight TV programs air, such as ESPN's big "SportsCenter" franchise.

NBC says it is designed to serve the busy morning schedule of sports fans, in a 20-minute sports report. What's unusual: it will not have an on-camera anchor or set. There will be simultaneous airing of video clips, graphics and voiceovers in delivering scores and information.

Jon Miller, president of programming for NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network, stated: "'The ‘Lights' will serve as a catalyst for our new programming lineup, and will quickly provide sports fans all of the scores and highlights they crave as they start their day.”

In July, the network aired three weeks worth of Tour de France coverage. For the first time for an over-the-air broadcast network, NBC aired live coverage of the race during its the first week.

Live coverage of the Tour de France on NBC Sports Network and NBC averaged 375,000 viewers, up 12% from last year’s live coverage just on NBC Sports Network (then called Versus), which was 334,000. Total viewer audience for all coverage was 18.5 million viewers, an 54% improvement over last year's 12.0 million viewers.

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