- Regional sports network
United States of America, a regional sports network, or RSN, is a cable televisionstation that presents sports programming to a local market. The most important programming on an RSN consists of live broadcasts of professional and college sporting events, as those games generate an overwhelming percentage of an RSN's advertising income. During the rest of the day, these stations show other sports and recreation programming. These channels are often the source content for out-of-market packages.
Most regional sports networks in the United States are either affiliated with
Fox Sports Netor Comcast SportsNet, with supplemental programming from networks such as America Oneor ESPNEWS.
Canada, Rogers Sportsnetoperates four regional sports networks.
Fox Sports Net
For years, the default RSN for many markets was owned by
Fox Sports Net, but an increasing trend is for the teams whose games make up the lucrative programming to own the RSN themselves. This serves two purposes: First, the teams make more money operating an RSN than they would collecting a licensing fee from, for example, Fox Sports Net.
Second, by owning their own RSN, teams that must share revenues with other members of their league can mask its broadcast-related profits. Under the old model, a team collects a large fee for licensing its games to the RSN. That fee would then be disclosed and shared with the other teams in the league. Under the new, team-owned RSN model, the team demands only a nominal fee, so the profits for local broadcasting stay with the team.
Current FSN affiliates
The current FSN affiliates are:
FSN Florida- sister channel of Sun Sports
*FSN Houston - this is actually a subfeed of FSN Southwest
FSN Kansas City
*FSN Oklahoma - Will launch on October 29, 2008 as a subfeed of FSN Southwest in Oklahoma
FSN Prime Ticket
FSN Rocky Mountain
FSN South- sister channel of SportSouth
*FSN Utah - this is actually a subfeed of FSN Rocky Mountain
Former FSN affiliates
Some current networks were once FSN affiliates, and they all still show national FSN programs, since the markets they serve have no FSN affiliate. They are:
Comcast SportsNet Bay Area- used to be FSN Bay Area
Comcast SportsNet Chicago- used to be FSN Chicago
*Comcast SportsNet New England - used to be FSN New England
MSG Plus- used to be FSN New York
FSN sister channels
Some channels split local sports coverage with the FSN affiliate in their market. They are:
SportSouth- The sister channel of FSN South
Sun Sports- The sister channel of FSN Florida
FSN in Los Angeles and Southern California
Since The Los Angeles Area and the rest of Southern California have so many sports teams, it has 2 FSN affiliates which split coverage of local sports:
FSN Prime Ticketand FSN West.It is the only market that has two 24 hour, full time FSN affiliates. FSN Prime Ticket is also the only FSN affiliate not named after the city, state or region it serves, as well as the only affiliate that contains the name of its old incarnation.
FSN Subfeeds and Alternate feeds
Some FSN affiliates have subfeeds to eliminate conflicts when 2 teams that they have rights to are playing at the same time, so they can air both games at once. They are:
FSN Rocky Mountain- has the subfeed FSN Utah
FSN Southwest- has the subfeed FSN Houston
Some FSN affiliates have alternate (or overflow) feeds for the same purpose, named after the host network with "Plus" after it (i.e. FSN Detroit Plus).
Subfeeds and alternate (overflow) feeds are only used during live games, and are turned off the rest of the time.
Seeing an opportunity to serve sports fans on a more local level and generate profits, cable giant
Comcastbegan creating their own RSN -- Comcast Sportsnet-- in the 1990s.
Comcast SportsNet Philadelphiain Philadelphia. Formed in the late 1990s to take the place of SportsChannel Philadelphia, which first aired in the late 1980s. Has rights to Phillies, 76ers, and Flyersgames.
Comcast SportsNet Bay Areaserves the San Francisco / Oakland area with rights to Oakland Athleticsgames. Formerly known as FSN Bay Area. Sister channel of Comcast SportsNet West.
Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, formerly known as Home Team Sports (HTS), based in Washington, D.C.; Fox and Comcast acquired this network from Viacomin 2000along with Midwest Sports Channel in Minneapolis and Milwaukee. Fox later purchased 100% of MSC in a swap with Comcast for HTS and renamed it FSN North. Has rights to Washington Wizardsand Washington Capitalsgames, many of which are broadcast in High Definition. Also airs many DC Unitedgames.
Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Partner in the network with Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Blackhawksand Chicago Bullsownership.
* Comcast SportsNet West, based in Northern California with rights to
Sacramento Kingsand San Francisco Giantsgames. Sister channel of Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.
* Comcast SportsNet Northwest, based in
Portland, OregonHas rights to Portland Trail Blazersgames.
* Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast (CSS), based in Atlanta with sub-regional feeds available. Airs regional college and high school games and other sports. Owned jointly by Comcast and
Charter Communications, and only distributed to cable systems. The Comcast 'crescent C' logo is used for the channel's logo despite Charter's co-ownership.
*Comcast SportsNet New England - formerly FSN New England
SportsNet New York, owned by the New York Mets, Time Warnerand Comcast, which launched on March 16, 2006.
Alternate feeds on Comcast SportsNet
Just like FSN, most Comcast SportsNet affiliates have alternate (or overflow) feeds to avoid conflicts when 2 teams they have rights to are playing at the same time, so they can show both games at once. They are named after the host network with "Plus" after it (i.e. Comcast SportsNet Chicago Plus). The alternate (or overflow) feeds are only used during live games and are turned off the rest of the time.
Comcast SportsNet in The San Francisco Bay / Oakland Area
Since The San Francisco Bay / Oakland Area and the rest of Northern
Californiahave so many sports teams, it has 2 Comcast SportsNet affiliates which split coverage of local sports: Comcast SportsNet West and Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. It is the only market that has two 24 hour, full time Comcast SportsNet affiliates.
Rogers Sportsnet, owned by Rogers Communications, is an RSN network serving
Canada. It consists of four regional networks, and a national HD network:
*Rogers Sportsnet East, which serves the
Ottawaregion, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
*Rogers Sportsnet Ontario, which serves all of
Ontarioexcluding the Ottawaregion (the HD network for the most part mirrors the Ontario feed).
*Rogers Sportsnet West, which serves
Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Nunavutand the Northwest Territories.
*Rogers Sportsnet Pacific, which serves
British Columbiaand the Yukon.
*Rogers Sportsnet HD, which is a
high definitionrebroadcast of the Ontario feed with regional variations when necessary.
Other Current Regional Sports Networks
Madison Square Garden Networkor (MSG) - The first regional sports network in The United States. It was launched in 1969 and serves the New York City Metropolitan Area. Its new sister channel is MSG Plus. The alternate (or overflow) feeds of MSG and MSG Plus are called MSG 2 and MSG Plus 2.
New England Sports Network(NESN), which is owned by the Boston Red Sox(80%) and Boston Bruins(20%). Broadcasts Red Sox and Bruins games, the Beanpot, Boston CollegeBasketball, Quinnipiac Universityathletics, and other live programming.
* Yankees Entertainment and Sports (YES), which is owned by
Yankee Global Enterprises LLCwith 40% owned by Goldman Sachs.
Altitude Sports and Entertainment, owned by Kroenke Sports Enterprises, owned by Stan Kroenke. Airs Colorado Avalanchehockey, Denver Nuggetsbasketball, Colorado Mammothlacrosse, Colorado Rapidssoccer, Colorado Springs Sky Soxminor league baseball and other Denver and Rocky Mountain area sports & general interest programming. Altitude's alternate (or overflow) feed is called Altitude 2.
Mid-Atlantic Sports Network(MASN), owned by the Baltimore Oriolesand Washington Nationals, televises every available game of both teams (320 games annually). Official Network of the Baltimore Ravens, Georgetown Hoyas, George Mason Patriots, UNC Wilmington Seahawks. Partnerships with Big South conference, BB&T Classic. Regional provider of the Big East Game of the Week (football, men's basketball). Televises more than 520 live major sporting events annually. MASN's alternate (or overflow) feed is called MASN2.
Metro Sports, Kansas City's 24-hour sports network.
Cox Sports Television, based in New Orleans, airs New Orleans Hornetsbasketball, New Orleans VooDooarena football, and regional college action. (Louisiana, Texas, Florida and Arkansas).
SportsTime Ohio, launched in March 2006 and owned by the Cleveland Indians. Began as a gametime-only network, now broadcasting 24 hours a day.
Catch 47, Tampa Baysports area network.
Columbus Sports Network(CSN), broadcasting events, features, highlights and news on professional, collegiate, scholastic and amateur sports teams in the Columbus, OH area
BCSN, Buckeye Cable Sports Network operated by Block Communicationsfor Toledo, Ohio.
Fighting Sioux Sports Network(FSSN), which is operated by by WDAZ-TVand Midcontinent Communicationsfor the Grand Forks, North Dakotaarea.
ESPN Plus, syndicates college football and college basketball games to over the air broadcast stations. Its games are available on ESPN GamePlanand ESPN Full Court.
One Conference College Networks
Big Ten Networkairs sports involving Big Ten Conferenceuniversities exclusively. Joint venture between The Big Ten Conferenceand Fox Cable Networks (a division of News Corporation). Big Ten Network has 4 overflow feeds for football.
MountainWest Sports Network, airs sports involving Mountain West Conferenceuniversities exclusively. Informally known as the mtn. (short for "the mountain") it is a joint venture of The Mountain West Conference, CBS College Sports Networkand Comcast.
Southeastern Conferenceexplored starting its own network [ [http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/sec/2007-06-09-tv-network_N.htm SEC explores launching its own TV Network] ] , but a recent deal by the University of Floridawith Sun Sports, [ [http://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/article/59507 Florida rights deal may rule out SEC channel] ] and a long term deal between the SEC and the ESPNfamily of networks [ [http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6590140.html?desc=topstory ESPN scores 15 year SEC rights deal] ] have ended its likelihood.
Empire Sports Network( Upstate New York). Ceased broadcasting March 7, 2005upon the collapse of its parent company Adelphia Communications and the sale of their principal customer, the Buffalo Sabres.
Sports Time, which broadcast home games of the Cincinnati Reds, Kansas City Royals, and St. Louis Cardinalsin 1984and 1985. Not to be confused with the current SportsTime Ohio.
* Sports View, which was the cable home of the
Milwaukee Brewersfor three seasons (1984-86).
Carolinas Sports and Entertainment Television(C-SET), which broadcast Charlotte Bobcatsgames in the 2004-05 season.
* Arizona Sports Programming Network/"Cox 9": Named for the channel number on which it appeared on local cable systems, ASPN/COX 9 (owned by Cox Communications, the incumbent cable operator for the Phoenix area) aired
Phoenix Firebirdsbaseball games and Phoenix Sunshome games throughout its long history. In 2003, the channel removed all of its professional sports and moved to cable channel 7 (which resulted in the renaming of the channel) and FSN Arizonapicked up the cable/satellite rights.
* BlazerVision: This network aired
Portland Trail Blazersgames on pay-per-viewas late as 2000. It was then replaced by Action Sports Cable Network, which showed other sports events as well. The channel folded for good in November, 2002.
SportsChannel Los Angeles: This network, formerly Z Channel, aired Los Angeles Dodgers, California Angels, and Los Angeles Clippersgames from 1989to 1993. Unlike other SportsChannel affiliates, it did not convert to FSN; instead, it folded outright.
* ESPN West: This network was to have shown games of the Anaheim Angels and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim; both teams and the network were then owned by the
Walt Disney Company. It was announced in late 1997, but folded in 1998 without broadcasting a single show.
Victory Sports One: Owned by the Minnesota Twins, it folded in 2004 after only three months on the air, due to the inability of the Twins to reach deals with any Twin Cities area cable system or satellite service. Twins games immediately returned to FSN North.
* Sportsvision: This network aired
Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, Chicago Bulls, and Chicago Black Hawks games on pay-per-viewtelevision in the 1970s and early 1980s. It was once available by converter boxes tuned to channel 60, now WXFT. It then became SportsChannel Chicago and FSN Chicago before it folded in 2006.
* Home Sports and Entertainment: It carried many games of
Texas-based baseball and pro basketball teams until it became Prime Sports; it is now FSN Southwest.
PASS Sports: Detroit-based regional sports channel that presented coverage of professional and college teams in Detroit and Michigan; in 1997, the channel folded after FSN Detroitwon the rights to the Detroit Pistonsand bought the rights to the Detroit Tigersand Detroit Red Wingsfrom PASS. Some current FSN Detroitannouncers used to work for PASS.
* SportSouth: Atlanta-based sports channel with professional and college sports coverage from Atlanta and other parts of the South. Originally run in part by
Ted Turner, it was sold to Fox and became FSN Southin the mid-1990s. As part of the sale, Turner was prohibited from owning another RSN, but used a loophole (by airing some non-sports programming) to launch Turner South, which, on October 13, 2006, was sold to Fox and became a new SportSouth.
* Grizzlies Regional Sports Network: This proposed network for the NBA's
Memphis Grizzliesfolded before its first scheduled game; the team re-signed with FSN Southinstead.
* Midwest Sports Channel: Became
FSN North. See also WCCO-TV.
* PRISM: This Philadelphia-based network was replaced by
Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia.
* Home Team Sports: Became
Comcast Sports Net
Royals Sports Television Network(Kansas City, western Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Iowa), owned by the Kansas City Royals. After the 2007 MLBseason, RSTN ceased operations and all Royals games will be broadcast on FSN Kansas City, a new spinoff of FSN Midwest.
*Comcast Local, also known as CL, aired from 2004–2008. It aired professional, collegiate and high school sports throughout most of
Michiganand Indiana. They owned the rights to a number of Big Ten Conferenceand Mid-American Conferencesports telecasts, as well as the Detroit Ignitionof the MISLand Canadian Football Leaguegames. Merged into a similar channel Comcast Televisionin Michigan in March 2008.
Some RSNs broadcast select content in High Definition. These channels are usually available as part of a cable company's service, however on satellite services such as
DirecTV, HD games are available on dedicated channels, most the time free as part of an out of market package. Fox Sports Netaffiliates have dedicated HD channels, but since FSN produces very little content in HD (live games, both regional and national, and national shows like FSN Final Score and The Baseball Report are the only thing FSN does produce in HD), the HD channels are left blank when the program being shown is not available in HD.
* [http://www.kaiserblog.blogspot.com/ Kaiser's Blog] : Info on RSN history and some regions.
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