Gray Television's Raycom Sports said it launched Origin Sports Network, a linear streaming network that will show the stories of All-Stars and Hall of Famers before they became household names.
The network's first TV carriage deals are with Comcast's Xumo in the U.S. and The Roku Channel in Canada. It is also available on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Origin Sports Network will rely on four decades of sports production by Raycom Sports and show great moments from the early athletic careers of legends like Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson, Shaquille O'Neal and Joe Montana, as well as stars of more recent vintages such as Patrick Mahomes and Zion Williamson.
"Raycom Sports has a rich tradition of delivering the biggest moments, rivalries, stories and stars in sports directly to fans with no pay walls. We're excited to continue that tradition with the introduction of Origin Sports," said Chad Swofford, VP of digital content at Raycom Sports. "Building on our vast archives and leveraging our Emmy award-winning production team, Origin Sports will offer fans round-the-clock access to the biggest names in sports. From our flagship linear streaming network to social media destinations, we believe Origin Sports brings fans a unique perspective in the sports space, sitting at the intersection of the star-driven landscape of today and nostalgia of the past."
Origin Sports Network's first original production is The Rise, a series of 30 minute conversations with sports stars. Among the first to be featured are NFL All-Pro Luke Kuechly and NBA Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins.
The network will also be pulling classic games and performances from its archives, including Michael Jordan's last game with UNC vs. Duke, Payton Manning starting his college football career at Tennessee replacing Todd Helton, Walker Buehler striking out 13 batters in an SEC baseball game and Megan Rapinoe and the University of Portland Pilots beating UCLA for the 2005 NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship.
"Raycom's Origin Sports channel on Xumo brings unique focus and access to the most iconic games, sports moments and the all-star athletes who made them happen," said Stefan Van Engen, senior VP of programming and partnerships at Xumo. "Xumo's enormous audience of sports lovers will gravitate to the variety and caliber of ‘best of’ action that Raycom is delivering."
Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.
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