4SD

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For the airport with FAA location identifier 4SD, see Reno Stead Airport.
4 San Diego
4SD TV (logo).png
Launched August 12, 1996
Owned by Cox Communications
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
480i (SDTV)
Country United States
Language English
Broadcast area San Diego
Imperial County
Coachella Valley
Yuma County
Headquarters San Diego, California
Website 4sd.com/main_page.html
Availability
Cable
Cox Communications (San Diego) 4 (SD)
1004 (HD)
Time Warner Cable (San Diego) 4 (SD/HD)
Time Warner Cable
(Desert Cities)
27 (SD/HD)
Time Warner Cable
(Yuma/El Centro)
19 (SD)
Cox Communications
(Las Vegas)
96 (SD)
1096 (HD)
(San Diego Padres baseball and UNLV Rebels basketball broadcasts only)

4SD, commonly referred to as Channel 4 San Diego (and also known as Channel 4 Padres or COX 4, and originally known as KCOX) is an American cable television channel serving San Diego, California that is owned by Cox Communications.

More or less, it originally operated as a regional sports network for San Diego County, with a mixed format resembling that of Denver-based regional sports network Altitude Sports and Entertainment; but with the loss of the network's television rights to many professional and collegiate sports teams in recent years, its programming has shifted more towards public interest programs as well as local programming, informercials and older television series that the channel had been carrying before losing the majority of its sports programming.

History[edit]

The channel was launched by Cox Communications as an outlet used as an experiment during the 1996 Republican Convention, as well as to provide round-the-clock coverage for the Super Bowl festivities at Qualcomm Stadium in 1998 and 2003.

During the October 2007 wildfires that affected San Diego, 4SD carried ABC programs, including the network's news and primetime shows, in lieu of the market's ABC affiliate KGTV (channel 10) due to that station's breaking news coverage of the fires.[1] Similarly on January 17, 2010, 4SD aired a college basketball game between the Connecticut Huskies and the Michigan Wolverines in place of CBS affiliate KFMB (channel 8), which instead carried a local pregame show for the divisional playoff game between the New York Jets and the San Diego Chargers.

In March 2009, Time Warner Cable began carrying 4SD on its systems in the Yuma, Arizona-El Centro, California market and the Desert Cities (Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Desert Hot Springs, Indian Wells, Indio, La Quinta and Coachella). This was due to the fact that the San Diego Padres maintain territorial rights in areas of Riverside County east of the San Jacinto Mountains, and throughout the Yuma-El Centro television market. Channel 4 San Diego is carried on channel 19 on Time Warner Cable's Yuma-El Centro system, and on channel 27 on its Desert Cities systems; the provider carries the entire 4SD programming schedule, which is also carried on its system in San Diego. In June 2010, Time Warner Cable began carrying the channel's high definition feed on its Desert Cities systems.[2]

Since 2012, 4SD has served as an alternate channel for Fox Sports San Diego for Cox and Time Warner Cable systems in San Diego County, carrying games from other teams that the regional sports network holds television rights in the event that live Padres telecasts on Fox Sports San Diego occur simultaneously as Los Angeles Clippers, Anaheim Ducks or Los Angeles Kings broadcast (which are simulcast from the latter channel's Los Angeles-based sister network Fox Sports Prime Ticket).

Programming[edit]

4SD now serves as a locally originated entertainment channel, with many of its programs airing several times each week. Shows broadcast on the channel include Sam the Cooking Guy, BackBeat (a program about local musicians), California Life with Heather Dawson, Forefront and Cox California Edition. Although the channel still carries some sports programs (including Raceline and The Tim McCarver Show), 4SD no longer airs live sports events, with the possible exceptions of high school football and basketball.[3]

Sports programming[edit]

San Diego Padres[edit]

In 1997, 4SD obtained partial broadcast rights to Major League Baseball games from the San Diego Padres; it aired the team's Monday through Saturday games, with Sunday games (which were produced by 4SD) being televised on independent station KUSI (channel 51). In 2001, the Padres and Cox Communications signed a 10-year extension for broadcast rights; as a result of the deal, 4SD built a state-of-the-art broadcast center located at Petco Park. KUSI lost rights to the Padres following the 2003 season, after having aired the team's games for most of the previous 17 seasons; beginning with the 2004 season, 4SD became the Padres' exclusive broadcaster of games that are not nationally televised (on ESPN, ESPN2, MLB Network or Fox); although games that are not aired on 4SD or any of Major League Baseball's national partners are not televised within the Padres designated market area.

The majority of these non-televised games are usually mid-week daytime games, which air in time periods more subject to lower viewership. However beginning in August 2010, the Padres in conjunction with MLB Advanced Media partnered to stream the non-televised games for free within the Padres market via mlb.tv for games that did not fall within the blackout windows imposed by Fox (on Saturday afternoon) or the ESPN (on Sunday nights). During the time that 4SD held the Padres broadcast rights, Cox Communications' Las Vegas system simulcast Padres games on "COX 96", a local origination channel on cable channel 96, which broadcast the team's games exclusively in standard definition (the remainder of "COX 96"'s consists of Las Vegas area government affairs and special event programming).

On April 21, 2011, 4SD manager Dennis Morgigno announced during a meeting with his employees that 4SD will probably not renew the Padres television rights for the 2012 season onwards. This was later formally acknowledged by Cox Communications' vice president of cable affairs for the San Diego market, Sam Attisha, in an announcement that it would lay off the channel's baseball production staff at the end of the 2011 season. The decision not to renew rights resulted from a dispute during contract negotiations in which 4SD and the Padres differed on an annual payments for the rights to the team's games from 2012 onward by a margin of $6 million a year for the next contract. Fox Sports Net offered the Padres a 20-year contract with rights fees ranging from $17 million to $22 million a year (running between $340 and $440 million by the end of the term) with some reports of up to $70 million a year (amounting to $1.4 billion at the end of the 20-year term).[4] Fox Sports Net won the contract, resulting in the creation of a new regional sports network to televise the games, Fox Sports San Diego.[5][6][7]

San Diego Chargers[edit]

Although 4SD does not carry live Charger game telecasts, the channel does air ancillary programming related to the NFL team including interview shows and Chargers game preview programs.

San Diego State University Aztecs[edit]

From the channel's 1998 inception until 2006, 4SD carried sports events from the Mountain West Conference, in partnership with regional sports network Sportswest. On September 1, 2006, the Mountain West Conference formed its own sports network, the MountainWest Sports Network (also known as "The Mtn.", which was shut down on June 1, 2012). However as part of a distribution agreement between Cox Communications and the MountainWest Sports Network, 4SD was allowed to carry select San Diego State Aztecs sporting events that were produced by the MountainWest Sports Network as well as most of the MWC Basketball Tournament (which was produced by The Mtn. and CBS Sports Network), with the exception of the conference championship game (whose rights were held by Versus/NBC Sports Network (now NBCSN). The Mountain West broadcast rights were exclusive to the 4SD feed carried on Cox; the telecasts were not carried on Time Warner Cable as MountainWest Sports Network did not maintain a distribution deal with that provider.

University of San Diego Toreros[edit]

In 1998, 4SD obtained the broadcast rights to USD Toreros basketball home games that are not nationally televised (by either ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or Fox Sports Net). In 2008, 4SD partnered with Comcast SportsNet California and Comcast SportsNet Northwest to provide regional coverage of West Coast Conference men's basketball[8] (the deal allows WCC games produced and broadcast by either 4SD or Comcast SportsNet to be carried by either of the three channels, displaying the other network's on-air graphics during the game telecasts on the respective channels). 4SD previously aired all San Diego State University Aztec football/basketball game that was not on ESPN or ESPN2. However in August 2011, Cox announced that 4SD would not renew its broadcast deal with the university for the 2011-12 basketball season.[9]

Carriage[edit]

In addition to its carriage on Cox Communications, 4SD is available on San Diego County's other major cable provider, Time Warner Cable. 4SD is not available on satellite providers DirecTV and Dish Network or to IPTV provider AT&T U-verse. This is because 4SD is distributed via fiber optic relays and its feed is not uplinked to satellite (similar to the distribution method of Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia). A controversial guideline imposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as part of the Cable and Telecommunications Act of 1992 (known as the "terrestrial exception"), which was implemented to encourage investments in local programming, stated that a television channel does not have to make its programming available to pay television providers that do not operate as cable services (such as satellite providers) if it does not use satellites for their transmission.

On January 20, 2010, the FCC voted 4-1 to close the terrestrial loophole.[10] The ruling, however, did not dictate a maximum amount that providers were allowed to charge providers to carry microwave- or fiber optic-distributed channels. On June 15, 2010, Cox Communications announced its intentions to negotiate with DirecTV, Dish Network and AT&T U-verse to distribute 4SD to those providers.[11] Reportedly, Cox negotiationed a subscriber fee that is much more than DirecTV, Dish Network or AT&T U-verse were willing to pay.[12]

4SD HD[edit]

4SD HD is a high definition simulcast feed of 4SD, which broadcasts in the 1080i resolution format. It is carried on Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable channel 704 in San Diego County, and on channel 627 on Time Warner Cable's Desert Cities system.

In 2004, 4SD began simulcasting Padres games in 1080i high definition. Between 2004 and 2006, 4SD broadcast approximately 120 games in high definition (however, road games in the National League West Division, and interleague matchups against AL West teams were broadcast in standard definition, with the exception of a 2004 game featuring the Padres first-ever regular season road games against the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees, which were both broadcast in high definition); all Padres game telecasts on 4SD aired in high definition beginning with the 2007 season.

References[edit]

External links[edit]