Universal Networks International

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Universal Networks International, formerly NBC Universal Global Networks, is a part of NBCUniversal.

When NBC Universal was formed, it owned entertainment television channels in Europe and Latin America. They were mostly a few international versions of the Sci Fi Channel, three action and suspense series channels in Europe, the Italian Studio Universal channel and the Latin American version of the USA Network.

In 2007 NBC Universal acquired Sparrowhawk Media Group, which at the time was a British private equity-backed media company managing a collection of digital television channels, and integrated it into NBC Universal Global Networks.[1][2] The purchase more than doubled the number of international channels in NBC Universal's portfolio. Sparrowhawk's crown jewel was an international network of drama channels available on most continents under the Hallmark Channel brand, but also Diva TV, Movies 24, and KidsCo.

On October 5, 2009, it was announced that the venture would be renamed Universal Networks International and focus its attention on five channel brands, all with "Universal" in their name:[3]

  • Universal Channel
  • 13th Street Universal
  • Syfy Universal
  • Diva Universal
  • Studio Universal

Altogether, the company broadcast about 70 different channels by 2009.[4]

The overhaul started in late 2009 and progressed during 2010. Most of the international Sci Fi channels were rebranded as Syfy Universal. The Hallmark Channel brand was also phased out in most markets during 2010. Typically, it was replaced by the Universal Channel brand in markets where that brand wasn't available before. In many markets where Universal Channel was already present, Hallmark Channel was replaced by either Studio Universal, Diva Universal or 13th Street Universal.

Following the merger of NBCUniversal and Comcast, the following channels are also operated and distributed by NBCUniversal:

Channels[edit]

Australia and New Zealand[edit]

Former[edit]

  • KidsCo Closed 13 February 2014 [6]
  • SF (+2, formerly Sci Fi Channel Australia, 33.33% ownership as part of the TV1 General Entertainment Partnership) Closed 31 December 2013, replaced with Syfy
  • TV1 (+2, 33.33% ownership as part of the TV1 General Entertainment Partnership) Closed 31 December 2013

Benelux[edit]

Germany, Austria, Scandinavia, and Switzerland[edit]

NBC Universal owned the free-to-air broadcaster Das Vierte until 2008.

France[edit]

Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Slovenia, and Macedonia[edit]

Italy[edit]

Korea and Japan[edit]

Latin America[edit]

Poland[edit]

Romania and Moldova[edit]

Russia and CIS countries[edit]

Macau, Mongolia, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Philippines, and Southeast Asia[edit]

Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and India[edit]

Spain and Portugal[edit]

United Kingdom and Ireland[edit]

Turkey, Greece, Africa, and Middle East[edit]

United States and Canada[edit]

High Definition[edit]

On the January 26, 2009, Sci Fi became the first of the NBC Universal Global Network channels to begin broadcasting in High Definition within the UK. It will provide a simulcast of the Sci Fi Channel exclusively on Sky+HD channel 214, and will air UK HD premieres such as Eli Stone and Flash Gordon.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "NBC Universal agrees to buy Sparrowhawk Media". Reuters. 28 August 2007. Retrieved 2008-09-26. 
  2. ^ "NBC Universal buys 18 Hallmark channels outside the U.S. - International Herald Tribune". www.iht.com. Retrieved 2008-09-26. 
  3. ^ "NBC Universal in content and branding push". Broadcast. October 5, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Universal Networks to focus on 5 channels". Broadband TV News. October 5, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Hallmark switch to Universal Channel". tvtonight.com.au. Retrieved 29 May 2010. 
  6. ^ "Summer Channel Changes". Foxtel. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 

External links[edit]