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The Mizlou Television Network was an early
syndicator of television sports in the United States. It
was founded in 1961 by brothers Claude and Vic Piano. Its first telecast was of the 1968
between Mizlou and "The Big Three"
The network was not a full-time network like NBC, ABC or CBS. Rather, it produced sports and entertainment
programming and offered it to an "ad hoc" set of affiliates set up
on an event by event basis. It was seen on affiliates of all three
networks, and on independent television stations as
In an era long before satellite distribution of television signals,
Mizlou had, outside of the major networks, the only system capable
of distribution of signals to television stations on a nationwide
basis in that era, via a nationwide system of land lines and
Mizlou covered more college bowl games than any other network in
its era, well notably, the Miracle Bowl in 1980.
They also covered college basketball, NASL soccer, Arena Football League games, boxing, and LPGA golf. In the
1980s, Mizlou gave NASCAR its
first regular national television coverage and was a telecasting
pioneer of the Professional Rodeo
Cowboys Association as well. Mizlou also used its system to
facilitate distribution of live events like Jerry Lewis' MDA Telethon.
The business fell on hard times with the birth of all-sports
networks like ESPN and with the
development of easy satellite distribution of syndicated sports,
which rendered its exclusive land based system of distribution
obsolete. (ESPN actually syndicated some Mizlou programs, including
Holiday Bowl in which BYU beat Michigan to clinch the national
In the early 1990s, Mizlou dropped out of the syndication
business and sold their programming library to Margate
Entertainment LLC and launched an all-sports news network (Mizlou
Sports News Network), which was the precursor to ESPN News Network.
Margate Entertainment now owns SNN and is transmitting sports news
worldwide on a 24/7 basis.
Announcers who appeared on Mizlou include Eddie Doucette, Howard David, Duane
Dow, Jim Carvallis, Steve Grad, Vince Baglii, Don Tollefson, and Don Earle.
Mizlou was also known for many technical innovations under the
direction of Roger Schwing. Most enduring was the Iso-Lite Replay,
which enabled a fan to see a specific portion of what was then the
innovative ability to show an instant replay of the action.
MizLou TV Sports IPTV
In 2008, Margate Entertainment joined forces with Mizlou
Television Network to create MizLou TV Sports IPTV network. On
this, the 40th Anniversary of Mizlou, the network has returned as a
streaming 24 hour sports network, with Margate providing the Mizlou
Classic Library and Mizlou producing new TV sports.