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|Launched||April 2, 1984|
|Closed||March 31, 1985|
|Owned by||Anheuser-Busch |
|Broadcast area||Midwestern United States|
Sports Time was a regional sports network in the United States of America. It was owned by Anheuser-Busch and was launched on April 2, 1984. Sports Time was available in 15 states from Colorado to West Virginia.
The new network was a way for Anheuser-Busch to show additional games of the St. Louis Cardinals, the Major League Baseball team it had owned at the time. Games of the Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, Kansas City Royals baseball teams, the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League, and various college sports teams, including those in the Mid-American Conference, also aired on the network.
Other notable programming
Sports Time shared the same satellite feed with the Financial News Network. At the end of the Financial News Network's broadcast day, eagle-eyed viewers were able to see Sports Time's listings before the Financial News Network cut away to its own feed, which was, for a time, a sports news service called Score.
The Financial News Network simulcast Sports Time's coverage of the exhibition game between the United States Olympic basketball team against a group of National Basketball Association players, which was played at the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis on July 9, 1984. The game grew a crowd of 67,678, which was the largest to see a basketball game in the United States of America at the time.
Although a promising concept, Sports Time was hampered by several problems. First, the reach of cable television was not as prevalent as it would be even a decade later; some metropolitan areas still did not have cable service at all. Second, due to the large territory, many games were blacked out in all but a fraction of the territory. Finally, the service was sold as a premium channel, like HBO or Showtime, frustrating dedicated sports fans, who were used to getting ESPN included with their monthly service.
After twelve months of obvious frustration, Anheuser-Busch pulled the plug on Sports Time on March 31, 1985.
Today, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds are shown on Fox Sports in their respective regions, Midwest and Ohio. The Kansas City Royals have been shown on its own network, RSTN; Fox Sports; Metro Sports, or a combination of them over the years; it is Fox Sports Net-exclusive as of 2008. The Blues are also shown on Fox Sports Midwest.