Regional sports network: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In the United States of America and Canada, a regional sports network, or RSN, is a cable television station 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 Net or Comcast SportsNet (or both), with supplemental programming from networks such as America One or ESPNEWS.

In Canada, Rogers Sportsnet operates 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. The name of the networks was shortened to Fox Sports (Region/City) with the start of the 2008 college football season as part of a rebranding effort.


Current Fox Sports Net affiliates

The current Fox Sports Net affiliates and the major teams they carry are:

  • Note: the Rocky Mountain/Utah, Northwest and Pittsburgh affiliates, owned by DirecTV Sports Networks, still use the older FSN (affiliate) moniker instead of Fox Sports (affiliate).

Former Fox Sports affiliates

Some current networks were once Fox Sports affiliates, and they all still show national Fox Sports Net programs and games, since the markets they serve have no FSN affiliate. They are:

Alternate feeds and channels

Fox Sports 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 Fox Sports affiliates which split coverage of local sports: Prime Ticket and Fox Sports West. It is the only market that has two 24 hour, full time Fox Sports affiliates. Prime Ticket is also the only Fox Sports Net affiliate not named after the city, state or region it serves, as well as the only affiliate that contains the uses name of its old incarnation (The original Prime Ticket), instead of Fox Sports ("area here").

Fox Sports Ohio

Fox Sports Ohio is unique among the FSN affiliates because it actually has 2 full time 24 hour feeds, one for Cleveland and one for Cincinnati (some television systems improperly call the latter 'Fox Sports Cincinnati' to avoid confusion among viewers). Most programming is exactly the same, including live games. However when 2 teams that it has rights to are playing at the same time, the Cleveland feed carries one game and the Cincinnati feed carries the other. This occurs most often during the NHL and NBA season, when the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Cleveland Cavaliers play at the same time. When this occurs, the Cavaliers game airs only on the Cleveland feed, while the Blue Jackets game airs on only the Cincinnati feed. Also, Cincinnati Reds games air only on the Cincinnati feed.

Fox Sports Net subfeeds and alternate / overflow feeds

Some Fox Sports 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
  • Fox Sports South - has the subfeeds Fox Sports Tennessee and Fox Sports Carolinas
  • Fox Sports Southwest - has the subfeed Fox Sports Oklahoma

Some Fox Sports affiliates have alternate (or overflow) feeds for the same purpose, named after the host network with "Plus" after it (i.e. Fox Sports Detroit Plus).

Subfeeds and alternate (overflow) feeds are only used during live games, and are turned off the rest of the time.

Some affiliates were once subfeeds but are now full channels. Fox Sports Houston was once a subfeed of Fox Sports Southwest, Fox Sports Kansas City and Fox Sports Indiana were once subfeeds of Fox Sports Midwest, and Fox Sports Wisconsin was once a subfeed of Fox Sports North.

Comcast SportsNet

Seeing an opportunity to serve sports fans on a more local level and generate profits, cable giant Comcast began creating their own RSN – Comcast Sportsnet – in the 1990s.

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 Chicago also has a 2nd alternate called Comcast SportsNet Chicago alternate.

Comcast SportsNet in the San Francisco Bay Area

Since the San Francisco Bay Area and the rest of Northern California have so many sports teams, it has two Comcast SportsNet affiliates which split coverage of local sports: Comcast SportsNet California and Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. It is the only market that has two 24 hour, full time Comcast SportsNet affiliates. Due to the territorial rules set by the National Basketball Association, Golden State Warriors games do not air in the Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto television market on CSN Bay Area, while for the same reason, CSN California can not air Sacramento Kings telecasts in the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose market.

Rogers Sportsnet

Rogers Sportsnet, owned by Rogers Communications, is an RSN network serving Canada. It consists of four regional networks, and a national HD network:

Independent regional sports networks

The following is a list of regional sports networks which are not part of a larger national network:

One Conference College Networks

The Southeastern Conference explored starting its own network [1], but a recent deal by the University of Florida with Sun Sports, [2] and a long term deal between the SEC and the ESPN family of networks [3] have ended its likelihood. ESPN Plus later reached a deal with the SEC for the syndicated SEC Network for football and basketball games.

Defunct networks

High Definition

Many RSNs broadcast select content in High Definition. Fox Sports Net and Comcast SportsNet affiliates have dedicated HD channels, which are used for both local and national HD programming, mainly games. All FSN affiliates use 720p and all CSN affiliates and independent channels use 1080i.

See also


External links


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