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Pro-Am Sports System
Launched 1984
Closed November 1st, 1997
Owned by Post-Newsweek Stations
Country United States
Language English
Broadcast area Michigan
Northwest Ohio
Headquarters Ann Arbor, Michigan,
Replaced by Fox Sports Detroit (although the two ran in tandem for a short period and are unrelated, PASS surrendered its remaining broadcast contracts to the network)
Sister channel(s) WDIV-TV

The Pro Am Sports System, better known as PASS Sports or just PASS, was a regional sports network in Detroit, Michigan that lasted from 1984-1997. It mainly covered professional Detroit sports and the CCHA. PASS signed off the air at midnight on October 31, 1997, its last show being "Trackside at Ladbroke DRC", and the final commercial being a PSA for the "National Ski Hall of Fame" in Ishpeming, Michigan, before going to a slide of the PASS logo for the next couple hours.

Contents

History

PASS was launched by Tom Monaghan in 1984, who at the time also owned the Detroit Tigers. It was one of the first regional sports networks in the country. When the network launched some Tigers and Pistons games were put on the schedule, and in 1985, Red Wings games were added, with the remainder of those games being shown on WKBD.

In 1992, Monaghan sold the Tigers to Mike Ilitch, and sold PASS to Post-Newsweek Stations. PASS merged with WDIV, Detroit's NBC affiliate, which still is owned by Post-Newsweek. Following the purchase, PASS moved its studios and offices from Ann Arbor to WDIV's studios in Detroit. Post-Newsweek also moved the channel to basic cable and expanded it to 24 hours a day. Under Monaghan it was a premium channel that only aired in the evening and on weekends.

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Decline of the network

PASS had been an early affiliate of the Prime Network group of regional sports networks. However, in 1996, Liberty Media, owner of Prime Network and most of its affiliates, sold a half-interest to News Corporation. Newscorp immediately took operating control of Prime Network and renamed it Fox Sports Net. It also announced plans to launch its own RSN for Michigan, Fox Sports Detroit, as a competitor to PASS. After a surprise bid in 1996 to pick up the rights to the Detroit Pistons, Fox began planning to launch their network two years later.

In 1997, when the rights were up for bid on Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers games, Fox Sports Detroit won the rights to the Red Wings beginning with the 1997–98 season and the Tigers beginning in 1998, and decided to accelerate their launch date by bidding with PASS. However, Post-Newsweek concluded its coverage area was not big enough to support two RSNs. It sold the remaining year (1998) of the Tigers and Pistons contracts and the contract of sportscaster John Keating to Fox Sports Detroit and folded PASS.

Personalities

  • Marty Adler: Live on PASS
  • Pat Caputo: Live on Pass Host (1990–1992)
  • Bill Freehan: Tigers Analyst (1984–1985)
  • Steve Garagiola: Live On Pass Host (1993–1996)
  • Ernie Harwell: Tigers Play-by-Play (1994–1996)
  • John Keating: Live on Pass (1993–1996)
  • Greg Kelser: Pistons Analyst (1993–1996)
  • Fred McLeod: Pistons Play-by-Play (1984–1996)
  • Jim Northrup: Tigers Analyst (1985–1994)
  • Larry Osterman: Tigers and CCHA Hockey Play-by-Play (1984–1992)
  • Jim Price: Tigers Analyst (1993–1996)
  • Mickey Redmond: Red Wings Analyst (1985–1996)
  • Jack Riggs: Horse Racing Play-by-Play and Trackside Host
  • Dave Strader: Red Wings Play-by-Play, CCHA Play-by-Play (1985–1995)
  • Kelly Tripucka: Pistons Analyst (1993–1996)
  • Eli Zaret: Tigers Reporter

See also


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