OLN to televise Boston Marathon starting in 2005

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    BOSTON, Mass. – OLN® and the Boston Athletic Association have announced a multiple-year partnership for OLN to televise the Boston Marathon nationally, both live and tape-delayed, beginning in 2005.

    OLN will provide three hours of live, wire-to-wire coverage to North American homes, making the Boston Marathon the only U.S. road race to receive complete, live, national coverage.

    “The Boston Marathon is the crown jewel of long distance running,” said Gavin Harvey, President of OLN. “The epic spectacle of the world’s most prestigious foot race, the fierce drive of the planet’s most elite runners – this event is what OLN is all about.”

    “OLN’s commitment to providing the best coverage of action sports now brings the Boston Marathon to enthusiastic viewers who will appreciate the traditions and history on which the race has been built,” said B.A.A. Executive Director Guy Morse. “Runners and our audience will be pleased with OLN’s production of the race and its in-depth coverage.”

    The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon and one of the world’s most prestigious road races. This year’s event, which is annually held on the Patriots’ Day holiday, will be contested on Monday, April 18. A maximum field of 20,000 participants will run the historic and traditional point-to-point route from Hopkinton to Boston, Massachusetts. An estimated 500,000 spectators line the 26.2-mile route each year, making the Boston Marathon one of New England’s most popular sporting events.

    “In reaching an agreement to televise one the world’s marquee participatory sporting events, OLN has added yet another ‘best in class’ event to our programming schedule,” said Marc Fein, Senior Vice President of Programming and Production for OLN. “OLN’s addition of the Boston Marathon to a roster that already includes the Tour de France, USSA and FIS skiing, the PBR, and the DAKAR Rally, shows that the network is committed to premier specialty sports programming in our genre.”

    Outdoor Life Network is owned and operated by Comcast, which is also the nation’s leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services, including in New England. Comcast has sponsored the Patriots’ Festival since 2002, when it became Boston’s cable provider.

    Amy Banse, Comcast’s Senior Vice President of Content Development said, “The Boston Marathon represents all the passion and tradition that makes OLN’s content so compelling. This is an exciting development for runners, viewers and fans across the country.”

    The Boston Athletic Association was represented in the negotiation of the agreement by Clear Channel Entertainment Television (CCETV).

    OLN is the leader in outdoor adventure and action sports television. Now in more than 62 million homes, OLN is the home of best-in-class events like The Tour de France, The Gravity Games, Professional Bull Riders (PBR), and USSA Skiing. Owned and operated by Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), the Network offers exclusive programming in four primary areas: Outdoor Adventure, Action Sports, Field Sports and Bulls & Rodeo. OLN is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators throughout the continental United States and Hawaii.

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