Prime Sports Upper Midwest
|Prime Sports Upper Midwest|
|Closed||December 31, 1995|
|Owned by||Hubbard Broadcasting (61.4%)
Liberty Media (38.6%)
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Replaced by||Midwest Sports Channel|
Prime Sports Upper Midwest is a defunct American regional sports network that was owned by Hubbard Broadcasting and Liberty Media, and operated as an affiliate of the Prime Network. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the channel broadcast regional coverage of sports events throughout the Upper Midwest region. Prime Sports Upper Midwest was available on cable providers throughout Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
Prime Sports Upper Midwest launched in 1990, receiving its affiliation with the Prime Network through Liberty's partial ownership interest. The centerpiece of the network's sports coverage was its broadcast to NBA games involving the Minnesota Timberwolves, however, it also carried various college sports events.
In the spring of 1995, competing network Midwest Sports Channel signed an agreement with the Timberwolves to acquire the exclusive regional cable television rights to the team's games beginning with the 1995–96 season. As a result, on October 5, 1995, Hubbard and Liberty Media announced that Prime Sports Upper Midwest would be shut down. The announcement came three weeks before News Corporation acquired a 50% ownership interest in the Prime Sports networks on October 31, with the intent to partner with Liberty to have the Prime Sports networks to serve as the cornerstones for a new group of regional sports networks – developed as a cable venture for Fox Sports – which would also offer national programming distributed to the Prime-affiliated RSNs not owned by Liberty. Prime Sports Upper Midwest ceased operations on December 31, 1995.
- "THE LONG ARM OF JOHN MALONE". Sports Business Journal. Advance Publications. October 19, 1995. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
- "FOX AND LIBERTY OUTLINE PLANS FOR NEW CABLE VENTURE". Sports Business Journal. Advance Publications. November 1, 1995. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
- "PRIME SPORTS PULLS THE PLUG ON ITS UPPER MIDWEST OPERATIONS". Sports Business Journal. Advance Publications. October 6, 1995.
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