Would a Regional Sports Sub Channel be a good idea

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  • Posted In: Cleveland

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    Would a Regional Sports Sub Channel be a good idea, does anyone think it could be profitable, it could broadcast high school sports, college sports, minor league sports, maybe even horse racing, it would air sports that Fox Sports does not air


    A fairly similar idea fell flat on its face in Columbus after less than two years – Columbus Sports Network (CSN). Read our archives for much more.

    CSN was based at WCSN-LP 32 and actually had some (not all) cable carriage.

    It’s too much of a niche to be successful. And even high school sports sell rights.

    Finally, Time Warner Cable SportsChannel is in this space, with the money/backing of the cable giant.


    I thought it would have been a good idea since there could have been a bigger area that covered Cleveland and Akron area, I remember the main reason for the Columbus Sports Network shutdown was cost of production, some of the sports that could have been aired already broadcast online and sure that Wazoo Sports Network folded to, but that Western Ohio Sports Network still exists so in some cases it can work


    What would such a network be able to cover that Fox Sports Ohio and Fox SportsTime Ohio doesn’t cover already? And both of those RSNs have extensive coverage of high school and regional college sports… STO even has a plum deal with the OHSAA.

    Recorded in Ultra Stereo, the ultimately superior cousin to Normal Stereo!


    Lake Erie Crushers, Lake Erie Monsters games that Fox does not carry, CSU stuff from the Horizon League that airs online, same thing with MAC, if the indians allowed it the Akron Rubber Ducks, AFC Cleveland, Cleveland Freeze, Cleveland Fusion, the Akron roller derby teams, Horse Racing from soon to be Hard Rock Rocksino, Thistledown, as far as high school sports i am sure there are a good amount of stuff that is not carried on Fox or STO


    OK, among others:

    * The Monsters have a deal with FSN Ohio.
    * The MAC has a new deal with Time Warner Cable SportsChannel.
    * High school sports is covered not only by FSN Ohio and STO, but Time Warner Cable SportsChannel and various other outlets (i.e. in Canton, WHBC/1480’s Game of the Week on WIVM-LP/52)

    The Crushers and the RubberDucks-formerly-Aeros would be a niche, and probably not something that would be more than a filler. (I do believe the Aeros showed up once or twice as a filler on STO.)

    The other stuff, frankly, no one cares about. What in the world are “AFC Cleveland” and “The Cleveland Freeze”? Who wants to watch the roller derby on TV?

    I do agree that production costs were one thing that did in CSN in Columbus, but you aren’t putting this stuff on the air without spending money in Cleveland, either. TWC and WIVM have the infrastructure already. WIVM is owned by Image Video, which has been producing high school sports TV broadcasts since the Ice Age, I think…


    One example of a RSN with local programming that has been successful is BCSN in Toledo…an arm of Buckeye CableSystem.

    Not sure that would work over here…and it’d be a cable competitor to TWCSC, which is trying to serve this niche statewide.

    BCSN is also attached to the market’s cable-only CW affiliate, “Toledo 5, The CW” or “WT05” or whatever they call it these days.


    NBC Sports was on an NBC sub-channel. Then Comcast took over and they bumped NBC Sports over to cable. Guess it’s more profitable that way.


    NBC Sports was on an NBC sub-channel. Then Comcast took over and they bumped NBC Sports over to cable. Guess it’s more profitable that way.

    That was the Universal Sports, which is only 8% owned by Comcast/NBC. When they were unable to get more non-NBC O&O’s to pick it up as as DTV subchannel they converted the network to a traditional cable network to gain more households.

    The current NBC Sports Network is the former Versus, which was the former Outdoor Life Network.


    Thank you all for your comments, and as far as TV deals that already exist, i was mainly talking about stuff that is not already aired by those deals or is broadcast online only, just as Lake Erie Monsters only have 9 TV games,Horizon League and MAC have stuff they broadcast online only maybe even some stuff not local from those webcasts could have aired, it was just an idea


    No, jxg, an interesting idea, and as noted, it works over in Toledo with BCSN.

    I think the landscape is a bit different here, and the presence of Time Warner Cable SportsChannel makes it a bit more difficult.

    And it would pretty much have to be a cable channel as opposed to an OTA subchannel, though anyone other than TWC (which is already doing it statewide) would have to squeeze pennies out of the cable operators for carriage.

    And I do mean pennies. Cable systems are already paying increased costs for full-fledged RSNs (FSN and its now brother/sister network STO). TWCSC works because the dominant cable operator doesn’t have to pay itself…ditto with BCSN and Buckeye CableSystem.


    Didn’t comment much when this was first wrote, but I like the idea. A combination of high school, college and “minor” pro sports would be something different.

    Seems like good sports and music diginets are the main two formats missing in Cleveland metro area.

    And I would love a sci-fi/thriller type diginet, but freeloaders can’t be picky 🙂


    Sinclair’s American Sports Network may go National at some point. Just a possibility, TVS is said to launch one and a classic one along with classic tv and what is said to be TVS Tv Network, the TVS Networks will also be on Roku

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