SportSouth


SportSouth

Infobox Network
network_name = SportSouth
network_
country = United States
network_type = Cable television network
available = Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina and parts of North Carolina
owner = FOX Cable Networks
key_people = Jeff Genthner, senior vice president and general manager
launch_date = October 13, 2006
founder =
past_names =
website = http://msn.foxsports.com/regional/south

SportSouth is a regional sports network in the United States, with its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. SportSouth, formerly Turner South, relaunched on October 13, 2006. The first official event on the channel was a National Hockey League game between the Atlanta Thrashers and the Carolina Hurricanes.

SportSouth reaches about 8.9 million cable and satellite subscribers in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina and parts of North Carolina.

Network histories

*Turner South was launched in 1999 [http://www.timewarner.com/corp/newsroom/pr/0,20812,667423,00.html] by Turner Broadcasting System as the first regional entertainment network developed especially for viewers in the southern U.S. The regional cable TV network offered movies, tv series, sitcoms, regional news updates, and unique original programming, plus professional sports coverage for Atlanta Braves (Major League Baseball), Atlanta Hawks (National Basketball Association), and Atlanta Thrashers (National Hockey League), all of which were owned by Turner Broadcasting at network launch.

*The original SportSouth was founded by Turner Broadcasting System (which Time Warner would later buy) in 1990. Programs included Atlanta Braves games, Atlanta Hawks games, Atlanta Knights games, Charlotte Hornets games, college sports, and some syndicated shows. One of them, "This Week in NASCAR", was hosted by sportscasting veteran Eli Gold. Viewers could call in and discuss NASCAR racing with drivers and other guests. That show was produced at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. This original SportSouth was bought by Fox Cable Networks in 1996 and became what is today FSN South.

ale

In March 2006, FSN's parent company News Corporation, looking to further expand its roster of sports teams and events, boughtthe network for $375 million. [http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6310342.html] . After the deal was completed, FSN sought a new name. After about 60 different suggestions, network officials chose SportSouth, the original name of the other network owned by News Corp, FSN South.

Current operations

SportSouth plans to air 61 Thrashers games, 45 Hawks games in 2006-07 and 55 Braves games in the 2007 MLB season. That number will expand to 80 in 2008, when TBS ends national broadcasts of Braves games in favor of a leaguewide package. [http://www.ajc.com/hawks/content/sports/stories/2006/10/03/1004turnersouth.html] It shares local Braves broadcasting with WPCH-TV, the spun-off local broadcast version of TBS, an arrangement which begun in 2008. (Select games of the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals will also be distributed on SportSouth, subject to Major League Baseball territory restrictions.) However, conflicts with NBA and NHL playoff games could see the split between SportSouth and FSN South differ from the planned 80/25 games per network. Also, in 2006-07, SportSouth began televising some Memphis Grizzlies games. [http://www.nba.com/grizzlies/news/release-061004-television_schedule.html] This ensures that both they and the Nashville Predators have the maximum number of games televised that they wish to offer.

Sportsouth also has acquired the rights to University of Tennessee sporting events as of August 28, 2007, including 12 encore presentations of Tennessee football, four men’s basketball games, four women’s basketball games, six Olympic sporting events, 12 60-minute episodes of The Phillip Fulmer Show, nine 30-minute episodes of The Pat Summitt Show, and nine 30-minute episodes of The Bruce Pearl Show.

There are two major differences between FSN South and SportSouth:
*SportSouth plans to air only programs of interest to the region, much as FSN Prime Ticket does in Southern California. Jeff Genthner, vice president and general manager of FSN South and SportSouth, cited a program currently in the works on Hawks rookie Shelden Williams' first year in the NBA as one example. Thus, only FSN South will carry national FSN games, such as those from the Big 12 and Pac-10 Conferences. The two channels also try to put virtually all Southeastern Conference or Atlantic Coast Conference games on one channel or the other, again often targeted to regional vs. national interests.
*SportSouth is blacked out in areas not covered by the ZIP codes in the regional coverage area. For example, viewers of DirecTV's "Sports Pack" in other parts of the United States will not receive the channel. The blackout policy dates back to the days of Turner/Time Warner ownership. However, as of August 2007, it appears the restrictions have been lifted on DirecTV and "Sports Pack" subscribers are now receiving the channel without blackouts (except during major league sporting events)Fact|date=September 2007.
*FSN South also covers a somewhat wider broadcast area, and offers a variety of different MLB, NBA, and NHL teams, depending on location.

Promotional commercials for SportSouth have included sports figures such as Steve Spurrier, Bob Hartley, Bo Jackson, and Heath Shuler.

Commentators

Atlanta Hawks

*Bob Rathbun: play-by-play
*Steve Smith: analyst
*James Verette: sideline reporter
*Jerome Jurenovich: Hawks Live Host

Atlanta Braves

*Jon Sciambi: play-by-play
*Joe Simpson: analyst
*Katy Temple: field reporter
*Jerome Jurenovich: "Braves Live" host
*Ron Gant: "Braves Live" analyst
*Brian Jordan: "Braves Live" analyst

Atlanta Thrashers

*JP Dellacamera: play-by-play, "Thrashers Live" host
*Darren Eliot: analyst, "Thrashers Live" analyst
*Natalie Taylor: rink reporter

Charlotte Bobcats

*Steve Martin (broadcaster): play-by-play
*Henry Williams: analyst
*Stephanie Ready: sideline reporter

Memphis Grizzlies

*Pete Pranica: play-by-play
*Sean Tuohy: analyst
*Rob Fischer: sideline reporter

ee also

* Fox Sports Net
* FSN South
* Turner South


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