Comcast SportsNet New England

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Comcast SportsNet New England
CSNNewEngland.png
Launched November 6, 1981 (1981-11-06)[1]
Network Comcast SportsNet
Owned by Spectacor (1981–1983)
Cablevision (1983–2007)
Comcast (2007–present; NBCUniversal since 2011)
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
480i (SDTV)
Slogan Network of Champions
Country United States
Language English
Broadcast area Massachusetts
eastern Connecticut
central Connecticut
Vermont
Maine
New Hampshire
Rhode Island
Nationwide (via satellite)
Headquarters Burlington, Massachusetts
Formerly called PRISM New England (1981–1983)
SportsChannel New England (1983–1998)
Fox Sports New England (1998–2000)
Fox Sports Net New England (2000–2004)
FSN New England (2004–2007)
Sister channel(s) New England Cable News
NBCSN
Website www.csnne.com
Availability
Satellite
DirecTV 630 (SD/HD)
Cable
Available on most cable systems in designated broadcast area Consult your local cable provider or program listings source for channel availability

Comcast SportsNet New England (sometimes abbreviated as CSN New England) is an American regional sports network that is owned by the NBC Sports Group unit of NBCUniversal, and operates as an affiliate of Comcast SportsNet. Headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts, the channel broadcasts regional coverage of professional sports events throughout the New England region, with a major focus on Boston area teams, as well as several original analysis, magazine and entertainment programs.

Comcast SportsNet New England is available on cable providers throughout Massachusetts, eastern and central Connecticut, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island; it is also available nationwide on satellite via DirecTV.

History[edit]

Early history[edit]

Comcast SportsNet New England originally launched on November 6, 1981 as PRISM New England. A spin-off of the Philadelphia-based film and sports-oriented premium service PRISM, it was founded by that channel's parent company, Spectacor. Along with carrying entertainment programming, the network also served as the cable television home for the NHL's Hartford Whalers and the NBA's Boston Celtics, as well as various college sports teams.

In late 1982, Spetacor sold PRISM New England to Cablevision Systems Corporation. On January 1, 1983, the network was rebranded as SportsChannel New England, becoming the second network of what would become the SportsChannel group (after SportsChannel New York).

As a Fox Sports Net outlet[edit]

On June 30, 1997, News Corporation and Liberty Media – which had created a new group of regional sports networks, branded as Fox Sports Net, in November 1996, through News Corporation's partial acquisition of the Liberty-owned Prime Network – purchased a 40% interest in Cablevision's sports properties including the SportsChannel networks (as part of a deal that included partial ownership of Madison Square Garden and its NBA and NHL team tenants, the New York Knicks and New York Rangers).[2][3] Cablevision, News Corporation and Liberty Media formed the venture National Sports Partners to run the owned-and-operated regional networks.

As part of a gradual rebranding of most of the SportsChannel networks that began that month (the lone exception being SportsChannel Florida, which did not become an owned-and-operated outlet until 2000), SportsChannel New England joined Fox Sports Net on January 28, 1998, officially rebranding as Fox Sports New England.[4] The channel was then rebranded as Fox Sports Net New England in 2000, as part of a collective brand modification of the FSN networks under the "Fox Sports Net" banner.

In 2001, Comcast purchased a 50% interest in Fox Sports Net New England. The network's name was shortened to FSN New England in 2004, through the de-emphasis of the "Fox Sports Net" brand by the regional networks. In later years, the network carried selected New York Mets games in parts of Connecticut that were not served by MSG or FSN New York (now MSG Plus), which then produced the games.

As a Comcast SportsNet outlet[edit]

In February 2005, Cablevision acquired News Corporation's 50% ownership interest in Fox Sports New England (with Comcast retaining its existing 50% stake) and its controlling stakes in FSN Chicago and FSN New York, in a trade deal in which Fox sold its interest in Madison Square Garden and the arena's NBA and NHL team tenants in exchange for acquiring sole ownership of FSN Florida and FSN Florida.

In the summer of 2007, Cablevision sold its remaining 50% share of the network to Comcast. The network was subsequently integrated into the Comcast SportsNet group of regional sports networks, rebranding as Comcast SportsNet New England on October 1, 2007. CSN New England, along with the other Comcast SportsNet-branded networks, was revamped with a new logo and graphics package (similar to that first used by sister network Comcast SportsNet Bay Area) in August 2008.

With Comcast's acquisition of NBCUniversal in 2011, Comcast SportsNet was also integrated into the new NBC Sports Group, culminating with the addition of the peacock logo and an updated graphics package to mirror that of its parent network. On August 6, 2014, satellite provider Dish Network dropped Comcast SportsNet New England in a dispute over a proposed increase in retransmission consent fees during carriage agreement negotiations.[5]

Programming[edit]

Sports coverage[edit]

Comcast SportsNet New England holds the regional cable television rights to the NBA's Boston Celtics (the only remaining sports property that has aired its games on the network since its launch in 1981), the New England Revolution of Major League Soccer (which first broadcast its games on the network from 1996 to 2007, before returning to the network in 2010),[6] the Boston Cannons of Major League Lacrosse and the Maine Red Claws of the National Basketball Development League (which have aired its games on the network since the team's formation in 2011).

Comcast SportsNet New England also carries programming distributed nationally by Fox Sports Networks in lieu of a regional FSN affiliate. This includes access to a variety of college sports, notably Pac-12 Conference basketball games on various nights, as well as Saturday telecasts of football games from the Pac-12 and Big 12 Conferences during their respective seasons. The channel also aired studio shows produced by Fox Sports Networks (such as The Best Damn Sports Show Period and FSN Final Score), prior to the premiere of the network's own sports news program, SportsNet Central, in December 2009.

The network formerly carried games from the NHL's Hartford Whalers from its launch in 1981 until the team's relocation to North Carolina (as the Carolina Hurricanes) in 1997. The network also served as the television home of the Boston Breakers of the United States Football League, broadcasting the team's games for one season in 1983.

Original programming[edit]

  • The Baseball Show (airs Sundays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. during baseball season) – Hosted by Bob Neumeier with analysts Lou Merloni, Sean McAdam, Dan Shaughnessy and Steve Buckley, it is a call-in program featuring studio discussions, and opinions and comments from viewers and listeners about the latest issues regarding the Boston Red Sox. Original host Michael Felger left the program after committing to WBZ-FM (98.5) in August 2009 as the show is simulcast on WBZ competitor WEEI (850 AM), although it currently airs solely on Comcast SportsNet New England. A special edition of the program, The Basketball Show, airs whenever the Boston Celtics are playing in the NBA Finals.
  • Celtics Now – Hosted by Michael Holley, a weekly studio show reviewing news involving the Boston Celtics from the previous week.
  • Cross Check (Tuesday nights during hockey season) – Hosted by Michael Felger and Mike Milbury, the show discusses all of the week's latest news on the Boston Bruins. Joe Haggerty and Bruins fourth line winger Shawn Thornton make weekly appearances. The show's signature segment is called "Fan or Fraud", an on-the-street trivia segment in which Bruins fans are around the Boston area are asked questions about the team to determine if they are a true fan.
  • SportsNet Central (airs live nightly at 6:00 p.m., 10:30 p.m., and 1:00 a.m.) – A daily half-hour sports news program featuring highlights and headlines on Boston-area and national sports teams. Hosts and reporters include Kyle Draper, Mike Giardi, Abby Chin, Dalen Cuff, Kevin Walsh, Jessica Moran, Bob Neumeier and Eric Frede.
  • SportsNet Central Xtra – Airs before and after New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins playoff games, serving as pre-game and post-game coverage of games aired on other networks. Michael Felger hosts with Tony Amonte as an analyst for Bruins games and former Patriots Troy Brown, Ty Law and Mike Flynn as the analysts for Patriots games.
  • Sports Sunday (Sundays at 7:30 p.m.) – Sports Sunday, a studio show hosted by Michael Felger, reviews the previous week in New England Sports. Panelists include Lou Merloni, Bob Ryan, Ron Borges, Michael Holley, Chris Gasper, Sean McAdam, Cedric Maxwell, Damon Amendolara, Tom E. Curran, Troy Brown, Ty Law and Kevin Paul Dupont. The program's "conference call" call-in segment features writers from across the United States discussing the national sports scene.
  • Felger and Mazz (weekdays from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m.) – Debuted on November 14, 2011, it is a simulcast of the afternoon drive program from WBZ-FM, hosted by Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti, with Marc Bertrand providing the day's headlines every 20 minutes. Former Patriots' tight end Jermaine Wiggins co-hosted the program on Tuesdays from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. as part of a segment called "Wiggy Tuesday" until August 2014. Contributors include Boston Globe sportswriter Chris Gasper (who appears in-studio on Fridays and during the football season), Paul Perillo (who discusses the New England Patriots on Thursdays) and Bruins president Cam Neely (who appears weekly during hockey season).
  • New England Tailgate (Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. during football season) – Hosted by Glenn Ordway with Fred Smerlas and Steve DeOssie as analysts, it is a weekly studio show featuring discussion and analysis on the New England Patriots.
  • Patriots Football Weekly (Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. during football season) – Hosted by writers/editors of the New England Patriots official newspaper, Patriots Football Weekly: Fred Kirsch, Andy Hart and Paul Perillo.
  • Quick Slants (Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. during football season) – An interactive football show that airs hosted by Tom E. Curran and Mary Paoletti, answering questions about current events in the NFL via Twitter, Facebook, and live chat.
  • Town Fair Tire Sports Tonight (airs live at 6:30 and 10:00 p.m. every weeknight) – Hosted by Michael Felger and Gary Tanguay, a sports news program recapping the latest headlines from the day in Boston sports. Lou Merloni is the baseball analyst, Cedric Maxwell is the basketball analyst, Bob Beers is the hockey analyst, and Troy Brown is the football analyst. Frequent guests include Steve Buckley, Dan Shaughnessy, Ron Borges, Jackie MacMullan, Michael Silverman, Joe Haggerty, Michael Holley, Tom E. Curran, Sean McAdam, Rob Bradford, Chris Gasper, Kevin Paul Dupont, Andy Gresh, Chris Mannix, Tony Massarotti, Tim Welsh, and other Boston area sports media personalities and writers.

Notable on-air staff[edit]

Current on-air staff[edit]

Former on-air staff[edit]

  • Upton Bell – Boston Breakers studio host (1983)
  • Don Blackburn – Hartford Whalers color commentator (1983–1986)
  • Bob Cousy – Boston Celtics color commentator (1999–2008)
  • Gerry Cheevers – Hartford Whalers color commentator (1986–1995)
  • Larry CollmusRacing From Suffolk Downs co-host
  • Greg Dickerson – Boston Celtics courtside reporter (2006–2013), studio host (2001–2006)
  • Mike Fornes – Hartford Whalers play-by-play (1981–1984)
  • John Forslund – Hartford Whalers play-by-play (19951997)
  • Bill Gardner – Hartford Whalers color commentator (1996–1997)
  • André Lacroix – Hartford Whalers color commentator (1982–1983)
  • Bob Lobel – Boston Celtics studio host (1989–1993)
  • Mike Lynch – Boston Celtics studio host (1993–1994)
  • Donny Marshall – Boston Celtics studio analyst, and color commentator for select Celtics' road games (2005–2013)
  • Carolyn Manno – "SportsNet Central" anchor/reporter (2009–2012)
  • Willie Maye – Boston Celtics courtside reporter (1996–2005), studio host (1994–1996)
  • Johnny McKenzie – Hartford Whalers color commentator (1981–1982)
  • Harvey Pack – Racing From Suffolk Downs co-host
  • Rick Peckham – Hartford Whalers play-by-play (1984–1995)
  • Daryl Reaugh – Hartford Whalers color commentator (1995–1996)
  • Brian Scalabrine – Boston Celtics commentator and analyst (2012–2013)
  • Leah Secondo – Boston Celtics studio host (1997–1998)
  • Kim Walden – Boston Celtics studio host (1996–1997)
  • Nicole Zaloumis – SportsNet Central anchor/reporter (2009–2012)

Other services[edit]

Comcast SportsNet New England HD[edit]

Comcast SportsNet New England HD is a high definition simulcast feed of Comcast SportsNet New England, which transmits in the 1080i resolution format. The simulcast feed broadcasts live Boston Celtics games, studio shows and original programming in high definition.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "On the air". Bangor Daily News (Bangor Publishing Company). November 13, 2001. pp. C4, C8. Retrieved November 10, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Fox putting together national Sports Net // Changes ahead for SportsChannel". Chicago Sun-Times (Sun-Times Media Group). June 24, 1997. Retrieved April 9, 2015. 
  3. ^ John M. Higgins (June 30, 1997). "National net keys regional deal. (Fox Sports, Liberty Media Corp. challenge ESPN with stake in SportsChannel)". Broadcasting & Cable (Reed Business Information). Retrieved April 9, 2015. 
  4. ^ Jim Greenidge (January 23, 1998). "WELCOME TO NEW ENGLAND, FOX; BYE, SPORTSCHANNEL". Boston Globe (The New York Times Company). Retrieved April 9, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Dish Network drops CSNNE, Celtics’ broadcast home". Boston Globe. Boston Globe Media Partners, LLC. August 6, 2014. 
  6. ^ "CSN New England to televise Revs games". NECN.com. March 15, 2010. Retrieved March 15, 2010. 

External links[edit]