In the United States of America, a Regional Sports Network, or RSN, is a cable television station that presents sports programming to a local market. The most important programming on an RSN consists of live broadcasts of professional and college sporting events, as those games generate an overwhelming percentage of an RSN's advertising income. During the rest of the day, these stations show other sports and recreation programming. These channels are often the source content for out-of-market packages.

Most regional sports networks in the United States are either affiliated with Fox Sports Net, Comcast SportsNet, and/or America One.

In Canada, Rogers Sportsnet operates four regional sports networks.

Fox Sports NetEdit

For years, the default RSN for many markets was owned by Fox Sports Net, but an increasing trend is for the teams whose games make up the lucrative programming to own the RSN themselves. This serves two purposes: First, the teams make more money operating an RSN than they would collecting a licensing fee from, for example, Fox Sports Net.

Second, by owning their own RSN, teams that must share revenues with other members of their league can mask its broadcast-related profits. Under the old model, a team collects a large fee for licensing its games to the RSN. That fee would then be disclosed and shared with the other teams in the league. Under the new, team-owned RSN model, the team demands only a nominal fee, so the profits for local broadcasting stay with the team.

One of the most successful RSNs is the YES Network, which was founded by the New York Yankees and New Jersey Nets.

Current networks that share programming with FSNEdit

  • SportSouth (Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee) Broadcasts Thrashers, Hawks, and Braves games. Fox Cable Networks took over Turner South on May 1, 2006. The name of the network is SportSouth effective Oct 13, 2006.
  • Madison Square Garden Network (MSG) (New York). Owned by Cablevision as MSG Networks alongside FSN New York, through Rainbow Media Group. Believed to be the first of the regional sports networks in the United States (first went on the air in October, 1969).

Comcast SportsNetEdit

Seeing an opportunity to serve sports fans on a more local level and continue to quench their thirst for quality sports programming, cable giant Comcast began creating their own RSN -- Comcast Sportsnet -- in the 1990s.

  • Charter Sports Southeast (CSS), based in Atlanta with sub-regional feeds available. Airs regional college and high school games and other sports. Owned jointly by Comcast and Charter Communications, and only distributed to cable systems. The Comcast 'crescent C' logo is used for the channel's logo despite Charter's co-ownership.

Rogers SportsnetEdit

Main article: Rogers Sportsnet

Rogers Sportsnet, owned by Rogers Communications, is an RSN network serving Canada. It is comprised of four regional networks, and a national HD network:

  • Rogers Sportsnet Ontario, which serves all of Ontario excluding the Ottawa region (the HD network for the most part mirrors the Ontario feed).

Other RSNs Edit

Current networksEdit

  • Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN), owned by the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals, televises every available game of both teams (320 games annually). Official Network of the Baltimore Ravens, Georgetown Hoyas, George Mason Patriots, UNC Wilmington Seahawks. Partnerships with Big South conference, BB&T Classic. Regional provider of the Big East Game of the Week (football, men's basketball). Televises more than 520 live major sporting events annually.
  • Columbus Sports Network (CSN), broadcasting events, features, highlights and news on professional, collegiate, scholastic and amateur sports teams in the Columbus, OH area

Defunct networksEdit

High DefinitionEdit

Some RSNs broadcast select content in High Definition. These channels are usually available as part of a cable company's service, however on satellite services such as DirecTV, HD games are available on dedicated channels, most the time free as part of an out of market package.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit