Comcast SportsNet

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Comcast SportsNet
Comcast SportsNet logo 2012.png
Launched 1997
Network NBC Sports Group
Owned by NBCUniversal
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
480i (SDTV)
Country United States
Language English
Broadcast area Regional through several affiliates
Sister channel(s) NBC Sports
Golf Channel
Universal Sports

Comcast SportsNet (CSN), also known as the NBC Sports Regional Networks or Comcast Sports Group, is a chain of regional sports networks that are owned by cable television provider Comcast, and operated through the NBC Sports Group unit of NBCUniversal.

As part of the chain, Comcast operates seven CSN-branded sports networks, along with a stake in SportsNet New York (alongside Time Warner Cable and the New York Mets).


The first Comcast SportsNet network was formed in Philadelphia, after Comcast acquired a majority stake in Spectacor, the owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and Philadelphia Flyers. Comcast used their ownership in the teams to take over their broadcast rights and move them to a new basic cable channel known as Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia. The launch of the new network effectively shuttered the two local premium services that had formerly carried their games: PRISM – which carried movies in addition to sports events, and the all-sports network SportsChannel Philadelphia.[1]

CSN began to expand with a series of acquisitions and new establishments: in 2000, Comcast acquired a majority stake in Baltimore-area network Home Team Sports from Viacom, and relaunched it as Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic the following year.[2][3][4] In June 2007, Comcast purchased a controlling interest in FSN Bay Area, and rebranded it as Comcast SportsNet Bay Area on March 31, 2008.[5] The newest CSN affiliate, Comcast SportsNet Houston, launched in October 2012 as part of a new joint venture between the Houston Astros and Rockets – who vacated Fox Sports Houston.[6]

Alternate logo of Comcast SportsNet, used as a corporate logo by the NBC Sports Group.

As the result of the acquisition of NBC Universal by Comcast in February 2011, the operations of CSN, along with sister national sports channels Versus and Golf Channel, were assumed by the NBC Sports division. Plans were made to eventually incorporate NBC-related branding into CSN, although plans to drop the Comcast SportsNet name entirely in favor of NBC Sports were shelved in favor of keeping the CSN brand.[7][8] In late 2012, the CSN networks began adopting the current NBC Sports graphics design, and the CSN logo was updated to incorporate the NBC peacock.[9] The networks' flagship program, "SportsNet Central", later adopted the NBC Sports logo and graphics in April 2014.[10]

In April 2012, NBC Owned Television Stations began to sell national advertising on behalf of several CSN networks (New England, Mid-Atlantic, Northwest and Philadelphia). For "unwired sales", the Group will be continue to be represented by Home Team Sports. The arrangement is an extension of one it had established with New England Cable News in 2011.[11]

In markets that did not have an affiliate, CSN also carried the national programming of competing regional sports network chain FSN (which included various college sports and UEFA Champions League soccer). However, CSN quietly dropped all FSN programming on August 1, 2012, claiming that it could no longer reach an agreement with Fox.[12] In the Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington, D.C./Baltimore markets, FSN programming airs on local broadcast stations.


Name Region served Year joined / launched Home to Former name
Bay Area Northern and central California, northwestern Nevada (including the Lake Tahoe-Reno-Carson City region), and parts of southern Oregon. 2008 San Francisco Giants (MLB), Golden State Warriors (NBA), San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) and local coverage of the Pacific-12, West Coast, Mountain West, and Western Athletic conferences. Pacific Sports Network (PSN),
SportsChannel Bay Area,
SportsChannel Pacific,
FSN Bay Area
California Northern and central California. 2004 Oakland Athletics (MLB), Sacramento Kings (NBA), San Jose Sharks (NHL), San Jose Earthquakes (MLS), San Jose SaberCats (AFL), California Golden Bears (NCAA), other local sports coverage. CSN West
Chicago Illinois, Indiana (except areas near Cincinnati, Evansville and Louisville), Iowa, non-Milwaukee market areas of southern Wisconsin 2004 Chicago Bulls (NBA), Chicago Cubs (MLB), Chicago White Sox (MLB), Chicago Blackhawks (NHL), Chicago Fire S.C. (Major League Soccer), coverage of local women's college basketball games, as well as softball (the Chicago Bandits), and arena football (mainly the Chicago Rush). FSN Chicago
Mid-Atlantic Delaware, Maryland, south-central Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., West Virginia 2001 Washington Capitals (NHL), Washington Wizards (NBA), Washington Mystics (WNBA), D.C. United (MLS) and local coverage of the Atlantic Coast Conference and Colonial Athletic Association. Home Team Sports
New England Connecticut (except Fairfield County), Maine Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont 2007 Boston Celtics (NBA), Boston Cannons (MLL), New England Revolution (MLS) FSN New England,
SportsChannel New England
Northwest Oregon, Washington 2007 Portland Trail Blazers (NBA), Vancouver Canucks and other NHL games, Oregon Ducks and other college sports programming, assorted local sports
Philadelphia Philadelphia, eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, southern and central New Jersey 1997 Philadelphia Phillies (MLB), Philadelphia Flyers (NHL), Philadelphia 76ers (NBA), Philadelphia Union (MLS), Philadelphia Wings (NLL), and college sports. PRISM,
SportsChannel Philadelphia
Other networks
SportsNet New York (SNY) New York City, New York state, Connecticut, northern and central New Jersey, northeastern Pennsylvania 2006 New York Mets (MLB), Big East, Sun Belt and other athletic conferences.
Comcast Network Mid-Atlantic States and southern Pennsylvania 1996 CN8
Former networks
Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast Southeastern U.S. 1999 Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference games (NCAA), Atlanta Dream (WNBA)
Comcast Sports Southwest Houston area 2009 Select games from Sun Belt Conference, Southeastern Conference, and Conference USA, particularly those of the University of Houston and Rice University (all NCAA)
Houston Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, & New Mexico[13] 2012 Houston Rockets (NBA), Houston Astros (MLB), Houston Dynamo (MLS), regional college football and basketball
MountainWest Sports Network (The Mtn.) National, based in Denver, Colorado 2006 Air Force Falcons (NCAA), Boise State Broncos (NCAA), Colorado State Rams (NCAA), New Mexico Lobos (NCAA), SDSU Aztecs (NCAA), TCU Horned Frogs (NCAA), UNLV Rebels (NCAA), Wyoming Cowboys (NCAA).
  • Comcast SportsNet Bay Area: Comcast acquired a majority share from Cablevision in April 2007. Comcast owns 45%, the Giants own 25%, and Fox owns 25%.[citation needed] While previously branded as an FSN affiliate, it switched to the Comcast SportsNet branding in March 2008.[5]
  • Comcast SportsNet California: It was created in conjunction with Maloof Sports & Entertainment, owners of the Kings and Monarchs, after the company did not renew their previous contract with FSN Bay Area. Originally launching as CSN West, the channel was renamed CSN California on September 4, 2008 to serve as a compliment to CSN Bay Area.[citation needed]
  • Comcast SportsNet Chicago: It was created in conjunction with the Bulls, Blackhawks, White Sox, and Cubs (who own 20% each) in order to effectively replace FSN Chicago by giving them better editorial control over their broadcasts.[citation needed]
  • Comcast SportsNet Houston: It only reached 40% of Houston market prior to November 2014 when DirecTV and AT&T acquired the channel and rebranded it under DirecTV's Root Sports chain as Root Sports Southwest.
  • Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic: It carried the Baltimore Orioles through 2006. Online coverage is split into Comcast SportsNet Baltimore and Comcast SportsNet Washington.[citation needed]
  • Comcast SportsNet New England: Comcast acquired a majority share from Cablevision in April 2007. Renamed CSN New England in October 2007.[14] It does not air ACC programming, as rights to ACC games are sold regionally within its area.
  • Comcast SportsNet Northwest: It was created in conjunction with the Trail Blazers after the team was unable to come to an agreement to stay on FSN Northwest (now Root Sports Northwest). It is currently available mostly to Comcast customers. The channel is not carried by Dish Network nor DirecTV. Canby Telcom has accused Comcast of being inflexible in its negotiations.[15] The Oregonian newspaper reported in 2007 that CSN Northwest was seeking $2 per month per subscriber, more than what was being paid to the well-established FSN Northwest.[16]
  • Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia : It is the flagship of the Comcast regional sports networks. Originally a joint venture between Comcast, the Phillies, and Spectacor (owner of the Flyers and 76ers), Comcast bought a controlling interest in Spectacor in 1996. Due to its re-use of the infrastructure from PRISM (which does not use any satellite uplinks to distribute programming to providers), it was legally exempt from requirements to offer its programming to satellite broadcasters. Despite the FCC regulation closing the terrestrial loophole in 2010, CSN Philadelphia is still exclusive to Comcast and Verizon FiOS. The approval of Comcast's majority shareholder purchase of NBCUniversal by the FCC in 2011 contained provisions requiring Comcast to make regional sports programming available to competing satellite providers. Comcast blacked out NBC-branded nationally televised Round 1 playoff games between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins for Philadelphia area DirecTV and Dish Network subscribers (in lieu of the game being broadcast on the [unavailable] CSN Philadelphia) during the 2012 NHL Playoffs. As of February 2013, CSN Philadelphia remains unavailable to DirecTV or Dish Network subscribers.
  • SportsNet New York: It is owned jointly by the New York Mets, Time Warner Cable, and Comcast SportsNet.
  • Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast: It was launched in a joint venture with Charter Communications and is only available over terrestrial cable. CSS carries primarily collegiate and high school sports in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, and South Carolina. Although not branded as Comcast SportsNet, CSS is treated as a sister network to the CSN networks.
  • Comcast Network: It is based in the Philadelphia and Baltimore–Washington metropolitan areas. The network is aired on most Comcast cable systems along the East Coast from Philadelphia to Richmond, Virginia, and is also carried on other cable operators. The channels served as primarily local news/information channels, but carry some regional sports programming, including Eastern League baseball, CAA football, and some Phillies games within the Phillies' designated market. Originally expanded into the Boston market, the New England operations ceased in 2009.
  • Comcast Sports Southwest: It closed in fall 2012 when CSN Houston was launched. The network was home to the Houston Cougars and Rice Owls and also covered Houston-area high school sports.[17]
  • MountainWest Sports Network It was launched on September 1, 2006 as a joint-venture of the Mountain West Conference (MWC), CBS Sports (through the former CSTV) and Comcast. The network was shut down on June 1, 2012 due to the Mountain West Conference's ongoing realignment.

Other channels[edit]

New England Cable News, a regional news channel owned by Comcast, was operated as a part of Comcast Sports Group and CSN prior to Comcast's purchase of NBC Universal. In July 2013, NECN was moved into NBC Owned Television Stations (the division responsible for NBC and Telemundo's owned-and-operated stations) as part of a corporate re-organization.[18]

Comcast also owned a local sports network in Detroit and available across Michigan and central Indiana, Comcast Local (CL). CL carried collegiate and high school sports from their area, as well as minor league sports throughout its broadcast area. CL ceased operations at the end of February 2008 as every major professional or college team in the region had its programming tied to FSN Detroit and/or the Big Ten Network.[citation needed]

Comcast SportsNet HD[edit]

Comcast SportsNet HD is a high definition simulcast of select programs from Comcast SportsNet including live sports and series. Each regional channel has its own separate HD feed (many also have an alternate HD feed as well) and decides what will be broadcast in HD. Comcast SportsNet HD is not available in the Seattle area.

Sports Coverage[edit]




  •  United States NBA (Five Games per Week broadcast Live on Comcast Sports Net) (Some matches live and Delay on NBC).

See also[edit]

References and footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "Local Tv Sports Fans To See A Change, In Cost Sportschannel And Prism Are Going, Going. . . . A New Basic Cable Channel Takes Over.". The Inquirer. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  2. ^ Guidera, Mark. "Comcast to buy HTS sports channel," The Baltimore Sun, Wednesday, July 12, 2000.
  3. ^ Henry, Kristine. "Nevins leaves PR post for presidency of HTS," The Baltimore Sun, Saturday, March 3, 2001.
  4. ^ "HTS now Comcast SportsNet, adding sports news coverage," The Baltimore Sun, Wednesday, April 4, 2001.
  5. ^ a b FitzGerald, Tom (August 20, 2010). "Same channel, but new name for local telecasts / Comcast SportsNet BA replaces FSNBA". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
  6. ^ Comcast SportsNet Houston plans October launch Houston Chronicle March 7, 2012 (retrieved April 6, 2012)
  7. ^ Goetzl, David (May 4, 2011). "NBC Sports Brand Going Local". MediaPost Publications. Retrieved May 6, 2011. 
  8. ^ Friedman, Wayne (May 9, 2011). "NBC Steps Up Branding For Comcast Sports Nets". MediaPost Publications. Retrieved May 10, 2011. 
  9. ^ Ourand, John. "SBJ: Exit Versus, enter the NBC Sports Network". The Sporting News. Retrieved 2 August 2011. 
  10. ^ "SportsNet Central Rebrand". Troika Sports Group. Retrieved 12 June 2014. 
  11. ^ Rubino, Lindsay (April 16, 2012). "NBC Owned Stations, Comcast Sports Group Strike Ad Sales Partnership". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 21 August 2012. 
  12. ^ "NBC Sports Group Drops FSN Programming From Comcast RSNs". Sports Business Daily. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  13. ^ TV-radio notebook: CSN Houston lands C-USA football games Houston Chronicle July 5, 2012 (retrieved April 14, 2013)
  14. ^ September 20, 2007 news articles from Worcester Telegram & Gazette Bill Doyle (Must scroll down about half a page for citation)
  15. ^ Comcast Sportsnet and NFL Network (Canby Telcom)[dead link]
  16. ^ "Comcast's sports channels fuel bidding war". The Oregonian. May 29, 2007. 
  17. ^ Comcast adds more Houston-area sports programming
  18. ^ "NBC's Owned Stations Reorganize". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 5 August 2013. 

External links[edit]