Fox Sports Tennessee and SportSouth have agreed to a long-term contract with the Nashville Predators that will televise a minimum of 75 Nashville Predators regular-season games beginning with the 2013-14 season. Financial terms aren't being released for the deal, which covers more than 4 million households in Tennessee, Kentucky and northern parts of Alabama and Mississippi.
“To have a partner that recognizes the strength of the Predators brand and the importance of broadcasting in Nashville and across the southeast is tremendous,” Nashville Predators Executive Vice President Chris Parker said. “FOX Sports Tennessee and SportSouth are premier networks and this extension further solidifies the future of the Predators franchise. Following in the footsteps of other recently-signed early extensions with existing partners, like Bridgestone Americas, this deal is a great indicator of our commitment to providing our fans – who tuned in at an all-time high last season – with a first-class experience when it comes to their team.”
Ratings for Nashville Predators telecasts on FOX Sports Tennessee and SportSouth increased 40 percent from the 2010-11 season to the 2011-12 season. The team’s 5.2 rating on SportSouth for Game Five of the 2012 Western Conference Quarterfinals against Detroit was the highest TV rating for a playoff game in franchise history, reaching 53,000 households. Keeping consistent with last year’s success, the Predators are averaging a 1.7 rating through the first several games of the season.
The release also promised expanded programming options and a new "semi-permanent" broadcast location at Bridgestone Arena.
The board of Rural Media, the parent company of RFD-TV, has picked Randy Bernard to be the company's new CEO. Until recently, Bernard was the CEO of the IndyCar Series and, before that, led Professional Bull Riding. He will be based in Omaha but also oversee RFD's big studio operations on Dickerson Pike.
Rural Media Group, the Nebraska-based parent of RFD-TV, has signed a deal to buy FAMILYNET out of Texas. The deal adds almost 15 million homes to the 46 million homes RFD now reaches. The two companies' programming will be merged Jan. 1, which is likely to be good news for the studio operations of RFD-TV, which sit on Dickerson Pike near Briley Parkway.
“We believe the merged channels will be an even stronger network for all viewers, and a more valuable asset for our cable/satellite distributors who are bandwidth challenged at this time,” stated Patrick Gottsch, Founder & President of Rural Media Group, Inc. “The fact that both channels have a long history of dedication to nothing but family-oriented programming make this an easy transition for all subscribers”.
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