July 17, 2014
BALTIMORE - Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. announced today that it has launched the American Sports Network ("ASN"), a collegiate sports initiative to be broadcast on a number of Sinclair's broadcast television stations, and has entered into comprehensive sports rights agreements with a number of distinguished NCAA Division I conferences including the Patriot League.
Sinclair also has agreements with Conference USA, the Colonial Athletic Association, Big South Conference and Southern Conference. The initiative will be led by Doron Gorshein, Chief Operating Officer of Sinclair Networks, a division of Sinclair, who joined the Company in January 2014. The announcement was made by David Smith, President and CEO of Sinclair.
Under these agreements, Sinclair will premiere an extensive slate of live, local sporting events, including football, basketball, soccer, and other sports with the opening of this year's college football season. The initial launch will include over 50 universities and colleges. These local, live, exclusive games will be broadcast in different regions of the country, including where the conferences are located. Sinclair's broadcast stations will either be carrying the games and original content as part of the primary program line-up (generally on the Company's CW and MyNet affiliates) or as part of second channels (sub-channels of the primary station's signal), complimented by access and distribution on digital platforms. Subject, among other things, to successfully securing carriage agreements with distributors in the future, the Company's plans may include potential development of new cable networks and digital platforms focused on these new content initiatives. In addition, other television broadcasters have expressed an interest in distributing the games in their markets. Additional content and distribution elements will include programming that showcases the colleges, students, and student-athletes, focusing on their aspirations and achievements.
"Broadcasters serve and are closely connected to their communities, of which the colleges and universities are an integral part," commented Sinclair Networks COO, Doron Gorshein. "We believe there is significant value and consumer appeal for live sporting events from these important institutions, and we can offer expanded distribution through our broadcast platforms, as well as on potential new platforms, deepening our connection to our communities. We're proud to be working with the Conferences on this initiative, which combines compelling local sports and related content, with enhanced localism, diversity, and positive social purpose."
"This is another example of our foray into the content creation business," stated David Smith, President and CEO of Sinclair. "We have a history of producing large amounts of successful, first-run, original content through our local newscasts, high school sports presentations and Ring of Honor wrestling and have demonstrated our ability to brand content and build audience share. The launch of ASN will provide important and valuable content that is directed at serving our local communities, while improving the value of our CW and MyNet affiliates. We are confident in Doron's ability to lead this endeavor, given his acumen in this arena."
"Sinclair's initiative is an exciting new development for the Patriot League and its member institutions," commented Patriot League Executive Director, Carolyn Schlie Femovich. "This initiative serves the Patriot League's mission of excellence in academics and athletics, and allows us to showcase our schools and student-athletes across the country."
Mr. Gorshein has extensive business development, legal, Federal legislative and regulatory experience in the media sector. He founded The America Channel in 2003, a planned cable network, which acquired one of the largest NCAA Division I sports rights holdings in the nation, as well as distribution commitments. From 2005 to 2007, Mr. Gorshein was founder and CEO of Association of Independent Programming Networks, a trade association for 20 independent content companies, which advocated for competition in the media sector. From 2001 to 2003, he was VP/General Counsel at Speechworks International, Inc. Prior to that and from 1999, Mr. Gorshein was VP/Associate General Counsel at EchoStar Communications/DISH Network. Commencing in the 1990's he held senior positions at public companies in the software/tech sectors. He began his career at Turner Broadcasting System, where he was responsible for the business affairs of CNN International and its related services throughout most of the world. Mr. Gorshein received his Juris Doctor from Emory University and Bachelor of Arts from Tulane University.
Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. is the largest and one of the most diversified television broadcasting companies with affiliations with all the major networks. Sinclair's television group will reach approximately 38.9% of U.S. television households, including pending transactions. The Company regularly uses its website as a key source of Company information which can be accessed at www.sbgi.net.
Read the full release on the American Sports Network