American Sports Network ( ASN ) was the sports division of the U.S. television station owner Sinclair Broadcast Group through its Sinclair Networks subsidiary. [2] Formed in July 2014, ASN produces broadcasts of sporting events that are aired primarily across stations owned by Sinclair (in particular, The CW and MyNetworkTV stations owned and/or operated by the company, or, in some markets, on a digital subchannel of a Sinclair station), and syndicated to non-Sinclair stations and regional sports networks.

ASN primarily dealt in college sports from NCAA Division I conferences, including live football and basketball games from the Atlantic 10 Conference, Big South Conference, Colonial Athletic Association, Conference USA, Horizon League, Ivy League, Mid-American Conference, Ohio Valley Conference, Patriot League, Southern Conference, Southland Conference, and Western Athletic Conference, as well as a limited number of professional sports events. In 2015, ASN acquired regional rights to Real Salt Lake and D.C. United of Major League Soccer, with games airing on Sinclair stations in the teams' market area, as well as television rights to the newly established Arizona Bowl.

In 2017, Sinclair announced that it would fold ASN into a new joint venture with Silver Chalice known as Stadium , which would combine ASN's broadcast distribution platforms with content from Silver Chalice's digital outlets 120 Sports and Campus Insiders. ASN formally dissolved on August 23, 2017, although ASN programming continued on-air until September 6, when the network formally transitioned on-air to Stadium. [58]

History

Sinclair Broadcast Group formally announced the launch of the American Sports Network on July 17, 2014; the service was led by Doron Gorshein, who joined the company in January 2014 in the role of chief operating officer of Sinclair Networks. ASN carries live broadcasts of mainly collegiate sporting events, along with ancillary programming focusing on colleges, their students and student-athletes. ASN's content would air primarily on Sinclair-owned-or-operated affiliates of The CW and MyNetworkTV or on secondary digital subchannels of other stations run by the company (some of which had carried content from competing syndicated sports distributors ESPN Regional Television and Raycom Sports until ASN's launch), the latter especially the case for its stations that have primary affiliations with one of the Big Four networks ( ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox) which would not pre-empt the higher-tier sports coverage provided by their network partners. Sinclair opened ASN up for distribution by other broadcast outlets interested in carrying the service's content, and announced plans to expand ASN onto digital platforms. [3] [21] [6]

ASN planned to initially broadcast college football, men's and women's college basketball, women's college soccer, and college baseball events, beginning with the 2014 NCAA Division I FBS and FCS football seasons. Prior to the service's formal launch, Sinclair reached broadcast rights agreements with five NCAA Division I conferences, including Conference USA, [7] the Colonial Athletic Association, Big South Conference, Southern Conference, [8] and the Patriot League. [9]

ASN's first broadcasts took place on August 30, 2014, featuring two football games involving Conference USA teams ( Old Dominion University vs. Hampton University and Florida International University hosting Bethune-Cookman University). [10]

In September 2014, Sinclair reached a two-year deal with the International Motor Sports Association to syndicate broadcasts of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge series through ASN beginning that year, with a renewal option that could be exercised in 2016. Its first race broadcast on September 13, 2014 was shown on Sinclair stations in at least 36 markets, marking the first non-college sporting event to be syndicated by ASN. [11]

On September 29, 2014, Sinclair announced a multi-year deal with the Western Athletic Conference to broadcast its games through ASN – marking the sixth conference to partner with the service. Sinclair also announced that it had reached syndication deals with stations in 67 markets where the company does not have a station in its portfolio to carry ASN's programming, expanding its total potential audience to 83 million viewers. [12] [13]

On October 16, 2014, Jonathan B. LeCrone announced the Horizon League had entered into a deal with the American Sports Network to broadcast select games; subsequently on November 10, ASN entered into a broadcast contract with the Ohio Valley Conference. [14]

On December 2, 2014, ASN entered into the collegiate hockey field through an agreement that gave it the rights to air six Penn State Nittany Lions home games. [15] ASN later added two other men's ice hockey contests from the Big Ten Conference, featuring the Wisconsin Badgers and Ohio State Buckeyes. [16]

On January 23, 2015, Sinclair announced that it had acquired regional television rights to Real Salt Lake of Major League Soccer beginning in the 2015 season, with ASN handling production of the telecasts. KMYU and KUTV will air the games locally, and they will be syndicated to Sinclair stations in Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada as well as in Boise, Idaho. Stations in Arizona and New Mexico would also be able to bid for the local rights to telecast the matches in their markets. [17]

On May 19, 2015, ASN announced that it had reached an agreement with Minor League Baseball (MiLB) to televise a weekly game during the 2015 season. ASN was scheduled to air a weekly game live from different individual leagues on Sunday nights, and would also air the all-star games for the Florida State League and the Midwest League. [2]

On June 24, 2015 the Southland Conference announced that ASN would televise select matches from their conference beginning with the 2015 fall football season. The ASN package would replace the Southland Conference TV Network syndication package. [18]

In September 2015, ASN reached a deal with the Mid-American Conference, sub-licensed through ESPN, to broadcast selected games. In the 2015–16 academic season, ASN will broadcast 10 football games, 10 men's basketball games, and 5 women's basketball games. [11] ASN also reached deals with the NCAA Division I ice hockey conferences, including the Big Ten, ECAC Hockey, Hockey East, National Collegiate Hockey Conference, and the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, to broadcast games as part of a Friday night package. [20]

In November 2015, it was announced that ASN had acquired broadcast rights to the inaugural Arizona Bowl. [21]

On December 18, 2015, D.C. United of Major League Soccer announced that Sinclair had acquired rights to the team. ASN-produced coverage is aired by News Channel 8 and WJLA-TV. [59] Matches are also syndicated to digital subchannels of WUTB Baltimore, WRLH Richmond, WTVZ Norfolk, and WSET Roanoke. [60]

On January 8, 2016, Sinclair announced a dedicated American Sports Network channel, offered as an affiliation for digital subchannels of stations in Baltimore, Charleston, Cincinnati, Columbus, Greensboro, Myrtle Beach, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Portland, and Raleigh-Durham. The service launched on January 11, 2016. [24]

2017: Stadium

In March 2017, unconfirmed reports speculated that Sinclair was planning to shutter ASN and give its remaining sports rights to Campus Insiders. The Charleston Gazette-Mail , however, citing ASN employees, reported that the rumors of a complete shuttering were false, but that the division was planning to re-locate its headquarters, restructure its operations, and achieve "stronger, more diversified distribution." The original rumors were based upon reports of layoffs from ASN's current headquarters in West Palm Beach, connected to the planned re-location. [56]

On April 13, 2017, Sinclair officially announced that ASN would be re-launched later in the year as part of a joint venture with Silver Chalice (owner of Campus Insiders) and its online sports video service 120 Sports. The new operation will be operated as linear and digital offerings; the linear service would utilize the syndication and broadcast network built out for ASN, while the digital platform will stream full-time online and through Twitter. 120 Sports will provide original studio and long-form programming to the venture. [61] [62] On May 1, 2017, it was announced that the new joint venture would be known as Stadium . [63] On June 1, 2017, it was reported that Stadium would officially launch around late-July 2017. [64] After a soft launch in July 2017, the service officially launched on August 24, with ASN's over-the-air network formally joining Stadium on September 6. [65] [58]

Programming

NCAA sports

2014–15

During the 2014–15 season, ASN televised live events from the following NCAA Division I conferences:

League football Men'sbasketball Women'sbasketball Men'sice hockey Men'ssoccer Women'ssoccer Baseball Softball Women'svolleyball Men'slacrosse Women'slacrosse
Atlantic 10 Conference [67] Yes Yes
Big South Conference Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Big Ten Conference Yes
Colonial Athletic Association [32] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Conference USA Yes Yes Yes Yes
Horizon League Yes
Ivy League [33] Yes Yes Yes
Ohio Valley Conference Yes
Patriot League Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Southern Conference Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Western Athletic Conference Yes Yes

2015–16

During the 2015–16 season, ASN televised live events from the following NCAA Division I conferences:

League football Men'sbasketball Women'sbasketball Men'sice hockey Women'sice hockey Men'ssoccer Women'ssoccer Baseball Softball Women'svolleyball Men'slacrosse Women'slacrosse
American Athletic Conference [34] Yes
Atlantic 10 Conference [35] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Big South Conference [36] Yes Yes Yes
Big Ten Conference [37] Yes
Colonial Athletic Association [38] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Conference USA [39] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ECAC Hockey [40] Yes
Hockey East [41] Yes Yes
Horizon League [42] Yes
Ivy League [43] Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mid-American Conference [11] Yes Yes Yes
National Collegiate Hockey Conference [44] Yes
Ohio Valley Conference [45] Yes Yes Yes
Patriot League [46] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Southern Conference [47] Yes Yes Yes
Southland Conference Yes Yes
Western Athletic Conference [13] Yes Yes Yes
Western Collegiate Hockey Association [40] Yes

ASN also acquired the D2 Game of the Week rights and televised NCAA Division II football and men's and women's basketball on their network during 2015–16. The D2 package was formerly on CBS Sports Network.

2016–17

During the 2016-17 season, ASN will televise live events from the following NCAA Division I conferences:

League Football Men'sbasketball Women'sbasketball Men'sice hockey Women'sice hockey Men'ssoccer Women'ssoccer Women'svolleyball Baseball Softball Men'slacrosse Women'slacrosse Beachvolleyball
American Athletic Conference [68] Yes
Atlantic Hockey [69] Yes
Atlantic Sun Conference [70] Yes Yes
Atlantic 10 Conference [71] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Big South Conference [6] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Big Ten Conference [6] Yes
Colonial Athletic Association [6] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Conference USA [6] Yes Yes Yes
ECAC Hockey [40] Yes
Hockey East [6] Yes Yes
Horizon League [6] Yes
Ivy League [6] Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mid-American Conference [6] Yes Yes Yes
National Collegiate Hockey Conference [6] Yes
Ohio Valley Conference [6] Yes Yes
Patriot League [81] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Southern Conference [82] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Southland Conference [83] Yes Yes
Sunbelt Conference [84] Yes Yes
Western Athletic Conference [85] Yes Yes
Western Collegiate Hockey Association [86] Yes

In addition to the above conferences, ASN acquired the rights to University of Massachusetts Minutemen football games for the 2016 season. [87] ASN also had the rights to the D2 Game of the Week and televised NCAA Division II football and men's and women's basketball on their network during 2016-17. [88]

List of affiliates

American Sports Network telecasts primarily aired on stations owned or managed by Sinclair Broadcast Group ; this includes stations operated by the firm under local marketing agreements or similar pacts, which itself includes stations owned by companies such as Cunningham Broadcasting, Deerfield Media, and Howard Stirk Holdings among others. [3] These telecasts were not always scheduled to appear on a station's main digital subchannel nor on a fixed single station where Sinclair owns and/or manages more than one station. In addition to the Sinclair stations, ASN's events (and Stadium after that), were also been syndicated to other broadcasters.

Other broadcast affiliates

City of license / market Station [4] Virtualchannel Owner Primary affiliation

Alabama

Birmingham WBMA 58.3 Sinclair Broadcast Group ASN [50]
Huntsville Decatur WZDX 54.2 Nexstar Media Group MyNetworkTV

Arkansas

Fayetteville KAJL-LD [89] 16.1 DTV America Corporation Telemundo

California

Los Angeles KHIZ-LD 8.4 [89] DTV America Corporation The Country Network
Sacramento KAHC-LD 43.1 ASN

Connecticut

Hartford New Haven WCTX 59.1 Media General MyNetworkTV

Georgia

Atlanta WATL 36.1 Tegna, Inc. MyNetworkTV
Cleveland (Atlanta) WDWW-LP 28.1 [89] DTV America Corporation DrTV
Macon WMUB-LD 38.1 Mercer University France 24

Illinois

Springfield Decatur Champaign WBUI 23.1 GOCOM Media
(operated by Sinclair Broadcast Group)
The CW

Indiana

Indianapolis WHMB-TV 40.3 LeSEA Broadcasting Corporation LeSEA

Iowa

Fort Dodge ( Des Moines) KCYM-LD 45.4 DTV America Corporation ?

Kansas

Topeka ( Kansas City, KS - MO) KCMN-LD 42.4 [89] DTV America Corporation Decades

Kentucky

Bowling Green WKYU-TV 24.1 [51] Western Kentucky University PBS
Louisville WAVE-TV 3.1 Raycom Media NBC
WBNA-DT4 21.4 [90] [91] Evangel World Prayer Center RTV

Louisiana

Alexandria KBCA 41.1 [52] Wilderness Communications Heroes & Icons
Lafayette KXKW-LD 32.1 Delta Media Corporation ASN (Launched July 1, 2016 replacing This TV)
Monroe - El Dorado, AR KNOE-TV 8.3 [52] Gray Television The CW
New Orleans WQDT-LD 36.3 DTV America Corporation Buzzr
Shreveport - Texarkana, AR KPXJ 21.1 [52] KTBS, LLC (Wray family) The CW

Maine

Portland WGME-TV 13.3 Sinclair Broadcast Group ASN [24]

Maryland

Baltimore WUTB 24.3 Sinclair Broadcast Group ASN [24]

Michigan

Detroit WMYD 20.1 E. W. Scripps Company MyNetworkTV

North Carolina

Charlotte WCCB 18.1 Bahakel Communications The CW
Winston-Salem / Greensboro / High Point WXLV-TV 45.2 Sinclair Broadcast Group ASN [24]
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill WLFL 22.2 ASN [24]
Wilmington WILM-LD 10.3 Capitol Broadcasting Company Independent

New York

Buffalo WNYO-TV 49.2 Sinclair Broadcast Group ASN [50]
New York City WDVB-CD 23.2 LocusPoint Networks Independent
WRNN 48.2 WRNN License Company, LLC ASN [50]

Ohio

Akron ( Cleveland) WQDI-LD 20.4 [89] DTV America Corporation Estrella TV
Cincinnati WKRC-TV 12.3 [24] Sinclair Broadcast Group ASN
Columbus WTTE 28.3 [24]
Dayton WKEF 22.2
Toledo WNWO 24.2

Oklahoma

Enid / Oklahoma City KBZC-LD 42.1 DTV America Corporation ASN

Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh WPNT 22.2 Sinclair Broadcast Group ASN [24]
Wilkes Barre WSWB 38.4 MPS Media, LLC ASN [50]

Puerto Rico

San Juan WAPA-TV 4.2 Hemisphere Media Group
( InterMedia Partners 73%, Azteca Acquisition Corporation 27%)
Independent
Ponce WTIN-TV
Mayagüez WNJX-TV
Vieques W34DY-D 34.2 TV Red de Puerto Rico, Inc. ASN
Villalba W16CW-D 16.2
Rincon W28DV-D 28.1

South Carolina

Florence / Myrtle Beach, SC WWMB 21.3 Howard Stirk Holdings
(operated by Sinclair Broadcast Group)
ASN [24]
Columbia WACH 57.2 Sinclair Broadcast Group ASN

Tennessee

Jackson WNBJ-LD 39.1 [53] Jackson TV, LLC NBC
Knoxville WATE-TV 6.2 [53] Media General GetTV
Nashville WNAB 58.2 Tennessee Broadcasting
(Operated by Sinclair Broadcast Group)
ASN [24]
WKUW-LD 40.3 DTV America Corporation ASN

Texas

Corpus Christi KRIS-TV 6.2 Cordillera Communications The CW
Dallas Fort Worth KTXD-TV 47.1 [52] London Broadcasting Company Independent
El Paso Las Cruces, NM KVIA-TV 7.2 News-Press & Gazette Company The CW
Tyler Longview KLPN-LD/KTPN-LD 48.1/22.1 White Knight Broadcasting
(operated by Nexstar Media Group)
MyNetworkTV

US Virgin Islands

Christiansted WCVI-TV 23.1 LeSEA Broadcasting Corporation LeSEA

Virginia

Norfolk WTVZ-TV 33.2 Sinclair Broadcast Group ASN
Lynchburg / Roanoke WSET-TV 13.2

West Virginia

Clarksburg Weston WDTV 5.1 Gray Television CBS
Charleston / Huntington WVAH-TV 11.2 Cunningham Broadcasting
(operated by Sinclair Broadcast Group)
ASN [24]

Wisconsin

Madison ( Janesville) WIFS 57.4 Byrne Acquisition Group, LLC ASN
Madison / Middleton WZCK-LD 8.4 DTV America Corporation

Regional sports networks

Network Region served Owner
YurView California San Diego Cox Communications
Altitude Sports and Entertainment Colorado, Utah, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska,
New Mexico, Nevada, South Dakota, Wyoming
Stan Kroenke
Comcast SportsNet Chicago Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan NBCUniversal (20%)
J. Joseph Ricketts Family (20%)
Jerry Reinsdorf (40%)
Rocky Wirtz (20%)
Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Southern Pennsylvania, Eastern West Virginia, Southern Delaware, Hampton Roads MSA, Outer Banks NBCUniversal
Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia Philadelphia metropolitan area, Eastern Pennsylvania, South Jersey, Delaware NBCUniversal
Philadelphia Phillies
Cox Sports Television Louisiana, Waco Temple Bryan, Texas Cox Communications
Mid-Atlantic Sports Network Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Delaware,
Pennsylvania, North Carolina, West Virginia
Baltimore Orioles
Washington Nationals
NBC Sports Bay Area San Francisco Bay Area, Northern California, Central California, Southern Oregon, Nevada NBCUniversal (45%)
San Francisco Giants (30%)
21st Century Fox (25%)
New England Sports Network Hartford - New Haven, Connecticut,
Massachusetts,
Providence, Rhode Island New Bedford, Massachusetts
Fenway Sports Group (80%)
Root Sports Southwest [54] Houston, Texas AT&T Sports Networks
Spectrum Sports (Texas) Texas Charter Communications
American Forces Network United States Armed Forces Armed Forces Radio and Television Service

See also