Carolinas Sports Entertainment Television To Launch Service In October
“C-SET is the next step in our goal of developing the pre-eminent sports and entertainment entity in the Carolinas,” said Johnson. “The Bobcats, Sting and new Charlotte arena will serve as the cornerstone of the network’s broad reach into the Carolinas. Other outlets provide very limited regional sports coverage on a daily basis and overlook many areas, such as scholastic sports and many collegiate sports events. Our network will delve deeper, be more expansive in our coverage and commit more time and resources to the stories and topics of interest to fans in the Carolinas.”
C-SET, which will be based in Charlotte and will launch service in October of 2004, will be a round-the-clock, year-round sports and entertainment network. The network will feature a range of programming options from throughout the Carolinas, including the Bobcats and Sting, college and high school sports, motor sports, minor league baseball and hockey, outdoor sports, arena football, equestrian and extreme sports. The network will also carry original programming such as coverage of events from Charlotte’s new uptown arena, coaches shows, weekly magazine shows and a nightly sports report that will feature a variety of coverage from throughout the Carolinas.
The network’s first affiliate is Time Warner Cable and C-SET will be initially distributed as a digital basic channel on all Time Warner Cable systems throughout North and South Carolina. Time Warner Cable, the region’s dominant cable system operator, covers 60% of the total 2.7 million cable households in the Carolinas and currently reaches approximately 600,000 subscribers with its digital basic service. Negotiations are ongoing with other distributors in the two states.
“Our relationship with Time Warner Cable provides C-SET immediate distribution to a wide fan base in a targeted region and will utilize state-of-the-art technology,” said Johnson. “By providing our programming digitally, we can offer a superior product and place our viewers ahead of the technological curve as it relates to high definition, video on demand and the newest television innovations.”
“We are pleased to be the first to carry C-SET and deliver the NBA’s newest team, the Charlotte Bobcats, and one of the most successful WNBA teams in the Charlotte Sting, to Time Warner Cable customers throughout the Carolinas," said Fred Dressler, Executive Vice President of Programming for Time Warner Cable. "Time Warner Cable continues to be the leader in providing consumers with the widest selection of compelling sports programming at the best value.”
C-SET will air 60 Bobcats games, all with 30-minute pregame and postgame shows. The Sting will have one of the most comprehensive local television packages in the WNBA with up to 15 games aired on the new network. In-depth team specials and reality programs, weekly magazine and coaches shows and other exclusive programming will round out C-SET’s coverage of the two teams.
“C-SET creates a platform for fans of the Bobcats and Sting to follow the teams in a unique way, both on and off the court,” said Ed Tapscott, Chief Operating Officer of the Bobcats, Sting and C-SET. “The network will provide unlimited opportunities to tell our story and create shoulder programming while also providing a vehicle to market and promote our ever-expanding sports and entertainment properties throughout the Carolinas.”
The new network will be the premier home to college sports in the Carolinas. Approximately 100 college events will be broadcast live, including men’s and women’s basketball and events in sports such as baseball, soccer, lacrosse, softball and gymnastics. Additionally, C-SET plans to re-broadcast top college football and basketball games, air a weekly college sports round-up show and a variety of coaches programs.
Plans call for a variety of professional sports broadcasts to compliment C-SET’s NBA and WNBA coverage, including Charlotte Checkers, Charlotte Knights and Carolina Cobras games. Teams from the Carolinas playing in the East Coast Hockey League will also be featured, as well as minor league baseball games from throughout North and South Carolina. The new Charlotte Jumper Classic will also be featured on the network.
“We will feature a variety of programming options on C-SET, from traditional professional sports offerings to those events that carry a strong fan following but have been unable to find a broadcast home,” said Naomi Travers, Executive Vice President of Media Rights and Entertainment, who will oversee the development and operation of the new network. “We have made great strides in creating program partnerships and continue to develop new programming agreements. The wide array of content directly tied to the Carolinas will be created by a first-class production team to craft a look and feel for C-SET that we are sure will quickly earn the loyalty of viewers.”
A unique, nightly sports report will be another highlight of the network, focusing exclusively on the news, scores and highlights of all sports in the Carolinas. C-SET will feature many new program alternatives, including outdoors and fishing series, lifestyle shows, coverage of extreme sports, video games review shows, reality and fantasy sports programs.
Johnson has a successful history in creating television networks. He founded Black Entertainment Television in 1980 as a cable television network geared to serve the information and entertainment needs of African-Americans. The company has grown to become the leading African-American-operated media and entertainment company in the United States, reaching 75 million homes.
Time Warner Cable owns and manages cable systems serving 10.9 million subscribers in 27 states, which include some of the most technologically advanced, best-clustered cable systems in the country with more than 75% of the Company's customers in systems of 300,000 subscribers or more. Utilizing a fully upgraded advanced cable network and a steadfast commitment to providing consumers with choice, value and world-class customer service, Time Warner Cable is an industry leader in delivering advanced products and services such as video on demand, high definition television, high-speed data, wireless home networking and digital video recorders. Time Warner Cable is a subsidiary of Time Warner Inc.
In conjunction with the announcement of C-SET, the network launched its website, www.c-set.tv. This site will be the source for show listings, network information, video and much more.