New TV network to focus on Olympics making debut on Saturday

FILE - In this Aug. 7, 2016, file photo, rowers are seen through a screen decorated with the Olympic rings as they practice at the rowing venue in Lagoa at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Olympic Channel, a new Olympic-themed television network makes its debut on Saturday, July 15. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

NEW YORK — While too early for a torch lighting, a new Olympic-themed television network makes its debut Saturday morning.

The Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA is designed to highlight Olympic sports and athletes and will begin airing in some 35 million American homes Saturday at 6 a.m. EDT.

NBC's Mike Tirico kicks it off with a programming preview that will be repeated throughout the weekend for those sleeping in.

It's a perilous time in the industry to start a new network. But NBC Universal is sharing costs and creative control with the International Olympic Committee and the United States Olympic Committee.

Early programming includes world championships in track & field and swimming, along with a look-back at the 1992 basketball "Dream Team."

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