Root Sports Utah
|Root Sports Utah|
(carries programming sourced from Fox Sports Networks)
|Owned by||DirecTV Sports Networks
|Picture format||720p (HDTV)
Nationwide (via satellite)
|Headquarters||Salt Lake City, Utah|
|Formerly called||Prime Sports Intermountain West (1988–1996)
Fox Sports Utah (1996–2000)
Fox Sports Net Utah (2000–2004)
FSN Utah (2004–2011)
|Sister channel(s)||Root Sports Rocky Mountain|
|Dish Network||Channel varies by date|
|Comcast (Salt Lake City)||52 (SD)
|Available on most Utah cable systems||Consult your local cable provider or program listings source for channel availability|
Root Sports Utah is an American regional sports network that is owned by the DirecTV Sports Networks subsidiary of DirecTV, LLC, as an owned-and-operated outlet of Root Sports and is an affiliate of Fox Sports Networks. Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, the channel broadcasts regional coverage of sports events throughout Utah. Root Sports Utah is available on cable providers throughout the state of Utah; it is also available nationwide on satellite via DirecTV and Dish Network.
The network originally launched in 1990 as Prime Sports Intermountain West; owned by Liberty Media, it served as an owned-and-operated outlet of the Prime Network group of regional sports networks. In 1996, News Corporation, which formed a sports division for the Fox network two years earlier after it obtained the broadcast rights to the National Football Conference, acquired a 50% interest in the Prime Network from Liberty Media.
On November 1, 1996, News Corporation and Liberty Media relaunched the Prime Network affiliates as part of the new Fox Sports Net group, with the Salt Lake City-based network officially rebranding as Fox Sports Utah. The channel was rebranded as Fox Sports Net Utah in 2000, as part of a collective brand modification of the FSN networks under the "Fox Sports Net" banner; subsequently in 2004, the channel shortened its name to FSN Utah, through the networks' de-emphasis of the "Fox Sports Net" brand.
On December 22, 2006, News Corporation sold its interest in FSN Utah and sister networks FSN Pittsburgh, FSN Northwest and FSN Rocky Mountain to Liberty Media, in an asset trade in which News Corporation also traded its 38.5% ownership stake in satellite provider DirecTV for $550 million in cash and stock, in exchange for Liberty Media's 16.3% stake in the company.
On May 4, 2009, DirecTV Group Inc. announced it would become a part of Liberty's entertainment unit, part of which would then be spun off into the separate company under the DirecTV name, in a deal in which Liberty would increase its share in DirecTV from 48% to 54%, with Liberty owner John Malone and his family owning a 24% interest. DirecTV would operate its newly acquired FSN-affiliated networks through DirecTV Sports Networks, a new division formed when the split off from Liberty Media was completed on November 19, 2009.
On December 17, 2010, DirecTV Sports Networks announced that its four Fox Sports Networks-affiliated regional outlets – FSN Utah, FSN Pittsburgh, FSN Northwest and FSN Rocky Mountain – would be relaunched under the "Root Sports" brand. The network officially rebranded as Root Sports Utah on April 1, 2011.
Root Sports Utah holds the regional cable television rights to the NBA's Utah Jazz; the Jazz signed a new exclusive 12-year agreement with the channel on October 20, 2009, ending the team's broadcasts on KJZZ-TV (channel 14). The network also carries many collegiate sports events, primarily from the University of Utah and Utah State University; as well as coverage of football, baseball and basketball games distributed by Fox Sports Networks from the Big 12 Conference, Big Sky Conference, Western Athletic Conference, Conference USA and the Mountain West Conference.
Current on-air staff
- Thurl Bailey – Jazz Live studio analyst
- Craig Bolerjack – Utah Jazz play-by-play
- Ron Boone – Utah Jazz color commentary
- Steve Brown – Utah Jazz sideline reporter
- Alema Harrington – Jazz Live studio host
- Matt Harpring – Utah Jazz color commentary
- Phil Johnson – Jazz Live studio analyst
- R. Thomas Umstead (July 8, 1996). "Liberty Sports regionals will become Fox Sports net". Multichannel News. The Walt Disney Company. Retrieved April 9, 2015 – via HighBeam Research.
- "FOX SPORTS NET DEBUTS ON NOV. 1". The Columbian (Columbian Publishing Company). Associated Press. September 13, 1996. Retrieved April 9, 2015 – via HighBeam Research.
- "News Corp. Reaches Deal with Liberty Media". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). December 22, 2006. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
- Todd Spangler (May 4, 2009). "DirecTV, Liberty Media Announce Spin-Off Plan". Multichannel News (Reed Business Information). Retrieved April 16, 2015.
- Mike Reynolds (November 20, 2009). "Liberty Sports Rebrands As DirecTV Sports Networks". Multichannel News. NewBay Media. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
- "'Root Sports' new name for sports networks". Denver Business Journal (American City Business Journals). December 17, 2010.
- "Jazz sign 12-year agreement with FSN Utah". Salt Lake Tribune (MediaNews Group). October 20, 2009.