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Miami HEAT and Sunshine Network Enter into New Multi-Year Telecast Agreement

Mar 16 2004 2:15PM
MIAMI, Mar. 16 - The Miami HEAT and Sunshine Network, a Fox-owned regional sports network, today announced a new long-term agreement providing Sunshine exclusive regional television rights to the NBA franchise. This agreement extends a successful television and marketing partnership that began between the two parties more than a decade ago.

The new agreement, effective at the start of the 2004-2005 NBA season, provides Sunshine Network with telecast rights in all languages to a minimum of 70 Miami HEAT regular season games (up from 46 this season), and all available HEAT playoff games. Sunshine Network has been partnered with the Miami HEAT for more 10 years having first televised games and programs for the team in the 1993-94 season. Owned and managed by Fox Cable Networks, Sunshine Network will continue to provide coverage of Miami HEAT games to viewers within the NBA-designated Miami HEAT television territory in South Florida.

“The Miami HEAT is a first-class organization and has the foundation in place for an exciting future,” said Cathy Weeden, vice president and general manager of Sunshine Network. “The energy surrounding the team and its talented young players provides Sunshine a tremendous product to deliver to our fans. As the team’s exclusive television home, we look forward to developing more programming and growing the fan base throughout the region.”

“We are thrilled to extend our television and marketing partnership with Sunshine Network,” said Eric Woolworth, president of business operations for the HEAT Group. “With this new agreement, HEAT fans will have access to a minimum of 70 HEAT games on basic or expanded basic cable. In addition, through Sunshine, we now have an opportunity to seriously explore Spanish-language game telecasts.”

In addition to the HEAT deal on Sunshine, Fox-owned regional sports networks have become the exclusive cable/satellite television home for a continuing number of NBA, NHL and MLB teams. In the past 15 months, FSN regional networks have added three new NBA teams in the Seattle SuperSonics, Phoenix Suns and Portland Trail Blazers. Over the past 20 months, the Fox-owned regional channels have either added, renewed or extended contracts or significantly increased its coverage of 14 teams in total. In addition to the HEAT, Sonics, Suns and Trail Blazers, the other teams include Milwaukee Brewers, St Louis Cardinals, Arizona Diamondbacks, Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB); Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers and Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA); and Detroit Red Wings and Nashville Predators (NHL).

Sunshine Network reaches more than 6.4 million homes across Florida via cable and satellite. The regional sports network has agreements with more than a dozen regional teams/properties including the Miami HEAT, Orlando Magic, Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida State University, University of Florida, University of Miami, UCF, ACC, SEC, MAC and more. The network also produces original studio programming such as the popular weekly “SportsTalk Live” series and the network’s day-long “Tailgate Saturday” college football programs, all focusing on sports from Florida and the region.