SportSouth

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SportSouth
Fox Sports SportSouth 2012 logo.png
Launched October 13, 2006
Network Fox Sports Networks
Owned by Fox Entertainment Group
(21st Century Fox)
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
720p (HDTV)
Country United States
Language English
Broadcast area Georgia
Tennessee
Alabama
Mississippi
South Carolina
parts of North Carolina
Elizabeth City micropolitan area
Outer Banks
Nationwide via DirecTV and Dish Network
Headquarters Atlanta, Georgia
Formerly called Turner South
Sister channel(s) Fox Sports South
Fox Sports Carolinas
Fox Sports Tennessee
Website foxsportssouth.com
Availability
Satellite
DirecTV 649 (SD/HD)
650 (SD) / 650-1 (HD) overflow feed
Dish Network 437
Cable
Available on most cable systems in the Southeastern U.S. Check local listings

SportSouth is an American regional sports network that is operated as an affiliate of Fox Sports Networks. The channel is owned by Fox Cable Networks, a unit of the Fox Entertainment Group division of 21st Century Fox. It is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. SportSouth reaches about 8.9 million cable and satellite subscribers in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina and parts of North Carolina (roughly from Asheville to Charlotte).

Network histories[edit]

Sale[edit]

In March 2006, Fox Sports Net's then-parent company News Corporation, looking to further expand its roster of sports teams and events, bought Turner South for $375 million.[2] After the deal was completed, FSN sought a new name. After about 60 different suggestions, network officials chose SportSouth, the original name of the other Southern U.S.-based network owned by News Corp, FSN South.

The channel relaunched as SportSouth on October 13, 2006, with the first official event broadcast being a National Hockey League game between the Atlanta Thrashers and the Carolina Hurricanes.

Current operations[edit]

From 2008 to 2012, SportSouth shared local broadcast rights to the Atlanta Braves with independent station WPCH-TV (channel 17), which formerly served as the local broadcast version of TBS until October 2007. On March 1, 2013, Fox Sports South and SportSouth announced they acquired the rights to 45 additional Atlanta Braves games, ending the team's contract with WPCH-TV. 2013 will be the first season in 40 years without locally produced Braves games on over-the-air broadcast television.[3] (select games from the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals will also be distributed on SportSouth, subject to Major League Baseball territorial restrictions). This ensures that both those teams and the Nashville Predators have the maximum number of games televised that they wish to offer.

SportSouth acquired the rights to University of Tennessee sporting events on August 28, 2007, including twelve encore presentations of Tennessee football, four men’s basketball games, four women's basketball games, six Olympic sporting events, twelve hour-long episodes of The Derek Dooley Show, nine half-hour episodes of The Pat Summitt Show, and nine half-hour episodes of 'The Bruce Pearl Show.

There are two major differences between Fox Sports South and SportSouth:

  • SportSouth plans to air only programs of interest to the region, much as Prime Ticket does in Southern California. Jeff Genthner, vice president and general manager of Fox Sports South and SportSouth, cited a program currently in the works on Hawks rookie Shelden Williams' first year in the NBA as one example. Thus, only Fox Sports South will carry national FSN games, such as those from the Big 12 and Pac-10 Conferences. The two channels also try to air virtually all Southeastern Conference or Atlantic Coast Conference games on one channel or the other, again often targeted to regional versus national interests.
  • SportSouth had been blacked out in areas not covered by the ZIP codes in the regional coverage area. For example, viewers of DirecTV's "Sports Pack" in other parts of the United States were not able to receive the channel. The blackout policy dated back to the days of Turner/Time Warner ownership. However, by August 2007, the restrictions were lifted on DirecTV and "Sports Pack" subscribers now receive the channel without blackouts (except during major league sporting events)[citation needed].
  • Fox Sports South also covers a somewhat wider broadcast area, and offers a variety of different MLB, NBA, and NHL teams, depending on location.

Promotional commercials for SportSouth have included sports figures such as Steve Spurrier, Bob Hartley, Bo Jackson, and Heath Shuler.

Branding[edit]

A logo bug appears on the top right screen during regular programming. For most programs (including nationally-televised sports) the Fox Sports logo is shown with a dark blue, rounded drop-down arrow shape containing the word "SPORTSOUTH" (resulting in the bug reading "Fox Sports SportSouth"). The bottom of the drop-down contains a small arrow, colored light blue. During local sporting telecasts, with the exception of Atlanta Dream games, the logo changes. In all cases, the Fox Sports logo is replaced with text, "SPORTSOUTH".

For Grizzlies basketball games, the text in the drop-down changes to "GRIZZLIES" (so that the bug reads "SportSouth Grizzlies"), with the arrow at the bottom of the drop-down shown in a slightly lighter shade of blue. For Hawks basketball games, the text in the drop-down changes to "HAWKS", with the arrow at the bottom of the drop-down shown in red. As for Braves baseball games, the text in the drop-down changes to "BRAVES", with the arrow at the bottom of the drop-down also colored in red. During Bobcats basketball games, the text in the drop-down changes to "BOBCATS", with the arrow at the bottom of the drop-down shown in orange. These localized logo bugs are also seen during each team's Live pre- and post-game shows.

Commentators[edit]

Atlanta Hawks[edit]

Atlanta Braves[edit]

Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets[edit]

Memphis Grizzlies[edit]

Atlanta Dream[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Turner South to Launch Friday, October 1, to Nearly One Million Subscribers Time Warner Press Release September 29, 1999
  2. ^ Fox Cable Buys Turner South, Multichannel News, February 23, 2006.
  3. ^ Fox Picks Up Braves' Games from PeachTree TV Multichannel News, March 1, 2013

External links[edit]