Sunrise, FL (February 17, 2000) SportsChannel Florida, the state’s only 24-hour regional sports network, will officially be relaunched as FOX Sports Net on Wednesday, March 1st at 6:30 PM.
As Florida’s exclusive FOX Sports Net affiliate, viewers will continue to enjoy the live coverage of Florida’s “Home Teams” that SportsChannel Florida has delivered over the last twelve years. In addition, viewers will now have access to a wide variety of exciting national and regional sports programming that will provide Florida sports fans with unsurpassed coverage of the local, regional, national and international sports scene.
“This is obviously a very exciting time for sports fans in Florida, our cable affiliates, advertising sponsors and staff. As the exclusive FOX Sports Net affiliate in the state, we will continue to provide Florida sports fans with live, extensive coverage of the Panthers, Devil Rays and Marlins as well as powerful national and international sporting events,” said Rod Mickler, Vice President and General Manager, SportsChannel Florida. “We will also continue to be the state’s only 24-hour regional sports network and the number one place to turn for coverage of Florida’s favorite teams, plus a whole lot more as part of the FOX Sports Net family.”
FOX Sports Net will provide Florida sports fans with 159 live Major League Baseball games this season, including 95 Florida Marlins and 64 Tampa Bay Devil Rays games. FOX Sports Net will also continue exclusive coverage of the NHL’s Southeast Division leading Florida Panthers as they march towards the Stanley Cup playoffs. The network will also continue to bring viewers extensive Florida collegiate action including the University of Miami, the University of South Florida and the University of North Florida.
Exciting new programming beginning March 1st includes The Last Word with Jim Rome, Goin’ Deep with Chris Myers, Hardcore Baseball and the debut of Sports Geniuses on March 27th. FOX SPORTS NEWS with Keith Olbermann will debut in Florida on April 25th. Other March programming highlights include Florida Marlins and Tampa Bay Devil Rays spring training telecasts, the Citrix Tennis Tournament from Delray Beach, NCAA basketball Conference USA Tournament and Semi Finals, Formula One Racing and a Thursday Night Baseball Special featuring the Cubs vs. the Mets live from Japan.
SportsChannel Florida’s transition to FOX Sports Net follows last month’s announcement that Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation, acquired SportsChannel Florida. Rainbow Sports, a division of Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc., is dedicated to “Home Team” fans. 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.
SportsChannel Florida currently reaches nearly 3.8 million homes throughout Florida, including the home satellite dish market. SportsChannel Florida programming includes long term rights agreements with Major League Baseball’s Florida Marlins and Tampa Bay Devil Rays; the NHL’s Florida Panthers; Saturday Morning College Kickoff, 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; and the FHSAA Championships.
For Rainbow Sports