, February 28, 2000

‘FOX Sports Net: The Premiere’ Kicks Off New Era In Florida Sports Television On March 1st At 6:30 PM

FOX Sports Net Florida Celebrates Launch with Black-Tie Inaugural Program

Sunrise, FL (February 28, 2000) FOX Sports Net Florida, a service of Rainbow Sports, today announced that its official on-air launch program, “FOX Sports Net: The Premiere,” will air live statewide on Wednesday, March 1st at 6:30 PM. Hosted by FOX Sports Net’s Dewayne Staats, the show will feature great moments and personalities from the Florida sports scene, and culminate with the official on-air “switch” when SportsChannel Florida becomes FOX Sports Net. Kevin Frazier, co-anchor with Keith Olbermann of FOX SPORTS NEWS, will make a special live appearance. Rod Mickler, Senior Vice President and General Manager, FOX Sports Net Florida, made the announcement.

“FOX Sports Net: The Premiere” will offer a special look back at the greatest moments in SportsChannel Florida’s history, as voted on by viewers statewide. The event will include live appearances by special guests from the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and Florida Marlins. Many of FOX Sports Net’s broadcast personalities will also be in attendance, providing a look ahead at what exciting new sports programming will be coming to Florida.

“March 1st is the start of a whole new ballgame for sports television in Florida and fans across the state as we launch FOX Sports Net,” said Mickler. “FOX Sports Net will be the ultimate TV destination for Florida sports fans, providing the best coverage of the hometown teams, and an unmatched lineup of national sports programming, including exclusive live coverage of both professional and collegiate games, original progams, and FOX SPORTS NEWS.”

Special guests scheduled to appear during “FOX Sports Net: The Premiere,” include Dan Marino, the NFL’s all-time leading passer, Pavel Bure the most electrifying athlete in the NHL, Jose Canseco, part of baseball’s prestigious 40-40 club, the Panthers Broadcasting Team of Hall of Famer Denis Potvin and Jeff Rimer, the Marlins broadcast team of Dave O’Brien and Tommy Hutton, Devil Rays color analyst Joe Magrane and FOX Sports Net personalities Keith Olbermann, Kevin Frazier, Chris Myers and Jim Rome.

FOX Sports Net Florida will provide season-long coverage of the Florida Panthers, Florida Marlins, Tampa Bay Devil Rays and local collegiate action, along with national programming including FOX SPORTS NEWS which debuts April 25th, The Last Word with Jim Rome, Goin’ Deep with Chris Myers, the Baseball Thursday MLB Game of the Week, and boxing on Sunday Night Fights.

At launch, FOX Sports Net Florida will reach nearly 3.8 million homes throughout Florida, including the home satellite dish market. FOX Sports Net Florida programming includes Major League Baseball’s Florida Marlins and Tampa Bay Devil Rays; the NHL’s Florida Panthers; Sunday Morning nFL, a live Sunday morning preview of the Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars; The University of Miami, The University of South Florida and The University of North Florida; “Saturday Morning College Kickoff;” The Big Ten Game of the Week; and the FHSAA Championships.

FOX Sports Net Florida — formerly SportsChannel Florida — is a service of Rainbow Sports, a division of Cablevision’s Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc. Rainbow Sports has been dedicated to “Home Team” fans for nearly 20 years. Rainbow Sports incorporates all of Rainbow’s sports assets, including the Madison Square Garden Properties, its 50 percent ownership of FOX Sports Net and FOX Sports National Advertising, and the ownership and management of seven regional sports networks in six of the nation’s largest markets — Chicago, Florida, New England, New York, Ohio and San Francisco.


Michelle Freeman Stevens
Communications Manager