Time Warner Cable Sports Channel
|Time Warner Cable SportsChannel
Time Warner Cable Sports (Syracuse)
|Owned by||Time Warner Cable|
|Broadcast area||Upstate New York|
|Replaced||Empire Sports Network|
|Time Warner Cable||
Time Warner Cable SportsChannel (Time Warner Cable Sports in Syracuse; TWCS for short) is a network of regional sports cable television stations serving much of the upstate New York area. The stations, which are owned and operated by Time Warner Cable, is available in Rochester, Binghamton, Syracuse and Buffalo. The network broadcasts a variety of local college and minor league sports broadcasts and is the de facto successor to the Buffalo-based Empire Sports Network. Unlike most regional sports networks, TWCS is not available on satellite television, nor is it available in areas of upstate that are served by companies other than Time Warner Cable (such as Atlantic Broadband in Cattaraugus County).
The network was formed in 2003 as budget cuts at the now-defunct Empire Sports Network, the area's previous regional sports network, forced severe cutbacks in the network's ability to cover sports outside of Buffalo. As a result, Syracuse University dropped Empire and instead signed a contract with Time Warner to carry their games on a separate channel, which became Time Warner Sports. Time Warner added some other sports events from local college and minor league sports teams to create the channel, which was initially only offered in the Syracuse area. In December 2006, Time Warner Sports expanded southward into the Binghamton market.
Also in December 2006, Time Warner SportsNet (TWSN) was established by Time Warner Cable in Rochester by acquiring rights to teams owned by the Rochester Sports Group: namely the Americans (ice hockey), Knighthawks (indoor lacrosse), Rattlers (outdoor lacrosse) and Raging Rhinos (soccer). Some of those teams had previously aired on other Time Warner channels, such as WRWB (the cable-only WB affiliate on channel 16 which has since has been sold to WHAM-TV) and Time Warner's overflow channel, channel 98. In June 2007, TWSN obtained the rights to televise the games of the Rochester Red Wings baseball team. TWSN also obtained the rights to air the Rochester Razorsharks basketball team, replays of the Rochester Raiders indoor football team, and some collegiate sports. The channel serves the entire Greater Rochester area, including the Finger Lakes region and Genesee County (Batavia).
Time Warner Cable established a Buffalo version of TWSN on November 19, 2007, on channel 13 on Buffalo-area TWC systems, operating out of the former Empire studios on Indian Church Road in West Seneca. The channel replaced former local-interest channel "Time Warner 13." TWSN hired former Empire host Jim Brinson in the spring of 2008; Brinson returned to Western New York after a stint as the morning co-anchor at KOHD in Bend, Oregon and hosts programs as well as handles play-by-play duties.
In March 2009, after parent company Time Warner spun off Time Warner Cable as a separate company, all three stations were correspondingly re-branded to begin with "Time Warner Cable" instead of just "Time Warner". The Buffalo and Rochester stations were rebranded as Time Warner Cable SportsChannel in fall 2012.
Time Warner Cable SportsChannel airs a wide variety of local sports programming. To suit local interests, and because of rights issues, some events are carried only on the Buffalo, Rochester and/or Syracuse feeds. Binghamton, Utica, and North Country viewers receive the Syracuse (Central New York) feed.
In addition to local sports (listed below), Time Warner Cable SportsChannel is also affiliated with ESPNEWS, which is usually carried during the midday period. Paid programming airs on the channel in the overnight hours.
Most first-choice Big East basketball and football games produced by ESPN Plus air exclusively on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel in its broadcast territory, including any that involve Syracuse University. Additionally, Time Warner Cable SportsChannel rebroadcasts Syracuse University games televised by other ESPN networks or ABC. SNY (which is part-owned by Time Warner) generally only has rights to the same games in the New York City metropolitan area. However, it may have access to other Big East games to show across the full viewing area, particularly in basketball.
All stations 
- ECAC Hockey, especially involving Colgate University, Union College, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in addition to the conference tournament. In addition to ECAC games, the station carries some games from the Oswego State Lakers.
- Select Syracuse University football, basketball, and lacrosse, plus coach's show
- Rochester Knighthawks indoor lacrosse (most games carried only in Rochester, but some are broadcast across the entire system.)
- Select University at Buffalo home football games (excluding ESPN family of networks broadcasts)
- High school sports, with coverage separated by market.
Buffalo only 
- University at Buffalo home football games (excluding ESPN family of networks broadcasts) and select feeds from road game broadcasts, men's and women's basketball, baseball
- Buffalo Bisons baseball
- Bengal Magazine, the Buffalo State College weekly athletics recap program
- Canisius College hockey and basketball
- The Enforcers, an opinion show hosted by Rob Ray and Ruben Brown
- Niagara University hockey and basketball
- Press Pass, a locker room interview show hosted by former Empire and current WGR personality Howard Simon
- WNY Sportz Blitz, a weekly interview-based sports show hosted by Steve Warzala
Rochester only 
- Rochester Institute of Technology men's ice hockey and occasionally women's ice hockey
- Rochester Razorsharks basketball
- Rochester Red Wings baseball
- Rochester Rhinos soccer
Buffalo and Rochester only 
- New York Knicks basketball (simulcast of games on MSG when the Buffalo Sabres are playing at the same time)
- Rochester Americans hockey
- BullsEye, the University at Buffalo weekly athletics recap program
- University at Buffalo home football games (excluding ESPN family of networks broadcasts)
Syracuse only 
- Colgate University home football games, basketball, hockey, and lacrosse. Some games air either live or taped in the other markets.
- Syracuse Chiefs baseball
- Syracuse Crunch hockey
Buffalo and Syracuse only 
- Rochester Rattlers outdoor lacrosse (Rochester only); team dissolved in 2008
- New York Yankees baseball (simulcast of games on WWOR-TV), came from WNGS in 2009, returned to WNGS in 2011
- Portland Pirates hockey (Buffalo only, ended with the Rochester Americans reaffiliating with Buffalo)
- The Brian Moorman Show, hosted by the Buffalo Bills punter (Moorman was fired during the 2012 season)
See also 
- Your News Now, sister network
- TW3, Albany sister station that shares some programming with the station
- Pergament, Alan (May 2, 2009). "Sports on the Air: NHL games take a hit in WNY ratings". The Buffalo News.
- Pergament, Alan (April 25, 2009). "Sports on the Air: Mayock has scheme for selection". The Buffalo News.
- Pergament, Alan (March 31, 2011). "Sports on the Air: Yanks games fly to WNGS". Still Talkin TV. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
- Time Warner Cable SportsChannel
- Time Warner Cable SportsChannel Rochester
- Time Warner Cable Sports Syracuse