One of the more confusing network names in sports is being eliminated on October 5th. On that date, SportSouth will be rebranded as Fox Sports Southeast.
“FOX Sports is a universally recognized brand with clearly defined attributes of a dynamic attitude and excellence in sports production,” said Genthner. “Changing SportSouth to FOX Sports Southeast better aligns our regional sports network with the FOX Sports brand, and ensures that all of the regional networks serving the Southeast — FOX Sports South, FOX Sports Carolinas, FOX Sports Tennessee and now FOX Sports Southeast – share in that dynamic brand strength and recognition.”
SportSouth was originally launched as Turner South in 1999 and was owned by Time Warner before it was purchased by Fox in 2006 and rebranded in October, following the conclusion of the Braves season. It’s not to be confused with Fox Sports South, which was originally known as SportSouth when it was launched by Turner in 1990.
When Turner and Time Warner merged in 1996, the original SportSouth was rebranded as Fox Sports South. After spending time as both Fox Sports Net South and FSN South, it went back to being called Fox Sports South in 2008, coexisting with SportSouth the entire time.
Fox Sports Southeast will be a less confusingly named sister network to Fox Sports Carolinas, Fox Sports Tennessee, and Fox Sports South. The networks air the same general programming, but live rights differ due to location – for instance, the Hurricanes and Hornets air on Fox Sports Carolinas, while the Grizzlies and Predators air on Fox Sports Tennessee.
The whole situation with these RSNs is a mess – depending where in the south you live, you could end up with Reds or Cardinals games on Fox Sports Carolinas/Tennessee instead of the Braves because of MLB’s blackout territories. At least in Ohio, there’s no sharing of rights – the Indians air on STO, and the Reds, Blue Jackets, and Cavs are on Fox Sports Ohio. On one hand, the situation with Fox Sports South’s bucket of content has created an innovative solution. On the other hand, the solution is enough to make your head hurt.
Well, no more confusing Fox Sports South with SportSouth – that’s probably for the best.