NEW YORK (AP) -- NBC has won the television space race.

The network announced Friday it has signed a deal with Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic to televise the company's first commercial space flight. Branson and his two adult children, Holly and Sam, will be the first private passengers to travel into space next year through his company. The launch will be part of a three-hour special Today show. NBC is controlled by Comcast Corp.

NBC's Peacock Productions unit also will offer programming leading up to the flight across the company's other outlets, including CNBC, MSNBC, SyFy and The Weather Channel.

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo will leave from the company's terminal in New Mexico.

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