Jan. 12, 2005
Orlando, Fla. –
Sunshine Network, one of the most popular regional sports television networks in the country, will introduce an all-new on-air presentation January 18, 2005, debuting a fresh brand identity and style through state-of-the-art graphics, a new Sun Sports logo and original music.
Long the viewing destination for Florida sports fans, Sun Sports will continue to deliver all of the programming that has made Sunshine Network successful during its first 16 years. The transition to the Sun Sports logo provides a mark more true to the network’s identity as a provider of sports programming, offers versatility for graphic presentation both on- and off-air, while maintaining a recognizable connection to the Sunshine Network brand history. Sun Sports is, and will be identified as, The Florida Sports Network.
“Over the past two years, we’ve laid a foundation for our brand with new programming that has continued to solidify our position as the sports viewing choice for Florida fans,” said Cathy Weeden, Sun Sports vice president and general manager. “Our goal is to develop programming for Florida sports fans that resonates distinctively with our audience in a first-class environment. Our introduction of new presentation elements and transition to the Sun Sports logo is our most visible way of communicating this focused commitment to our viewers.”
In addition to delivering games of the NBA’s Miami HEAT, Orlando Magic and the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, the network also has comprehensive programming agreements with the FSU Seminoles, the Florida Gators, the ACC and the SEC. Building on the home team fan passion generated by these teams, successful new studio and magazine-style programming has been introduced including, CHEVY TAILGATE SATURDAY, SPORTSTALK LIVE, CHEVY FLORIDA FISHING REPORT and the new all-access series UNDER THE LIGHTS. In addition, Sun Sports’ original INSIDE THE HEAT and INSIDE THE LIGHTNING series showcase life off the court with members of the HEAT and Lightning.
Viewers in Northern and Central Florida will see the new look Tuesday, January 18, during the network’s coverage of the Detroit Pistons at Orlando Magic game. South Florida viewers will see the transition on Wednesday, January 19, during the Atlanta Hawks at Miami HEAT game.
The new elements arrive as Sun Sports enters 2005 with ongoing coverage of Miami HEAT and Orlando Magic NBA basketball, Florida-based and regional men’s and women’s college basketball, and much more. In addition, the network’s state-of-the-art studios will be redesigned to incorporate the new look in the set design for original studio-based series.
Launched in 1988 with 1.5 million subscribers, Sunshine Network/Sun Sports, is now available in more than 6.1 million cable and satellite homes statewide. In addition to game telecasts from Florida’s professional and collegiate teams, the network produces its original programming from studios at Universal Studios Florida, all focusing on sports from Florida and the region. Sunshine is available via cable and satellite in Florida, nationwide via satellite, and much of its local/regional programming is available to digital cable subscribers outside Florida via Fox College Sports. For more information on the network, visit www.sunsportstv.com (effective 1/18).
Recent New Programming Initiatives
In the past two years, Sunshine Network has developed the following new original sports television programs and series. These initiatives, coupled with the network’s popular coverage of the home teams, and other initiatives to follow, serve to underscore the network’s commitment to its Florida sports audience, all of which will now be showcased in the Sun Sports environment.
CHEVY TAILGATE SATURDAY
A bold concept introduced in 2003 that has quickly become a viewing destination for college football fans in Florida each Saturday in the fall. With its team partnerships and unique access, no other statewide television outlet is better equipped to deliver daylong live coverage of gridiron action from the Sunshine State with a lineup that includes:
“Line-X College Kickoff”
College fans can wake up to a Saturday morning show previewing all of Florida’s major teams for a full hour. Live and on-location from the biggest games each week, this entertaining show gets fans ready for the action with up-to-the-minute news and information about that day’s games, including interviews and in-depth analysis that only Sun Sports, through its unique relationships, access and Florida focus, can provide.
“Seminole Postgame & Gator Postgame Shows Presented By Chevron
A one of a kind in Florida. Following the conclusion of every FSU and UF game, fans can switch over to Sun Sports for bonus coverage. Sun Sports picks up where the networks that carried the games leave off by giving viewers exclusive extended live postgame coverage after each game with highlights, on-site player interviews, postgame press conferences, and analysis from the network’s team experts.
“Tailgate Saturday Football Wrap”
When the games are over, passionate fans want to see more than just highlights of their teams, so Sun Sports offers a full, one-hour live show breaking down all the day’s games. Sun Sports’ partnerships with many of the state’s universities, along with the ACC and SEC, provide fans with inside access. And, most importantly, Sun Sports commits a full hour, something no other Florida TV outlet provides.
CHEVY FLORIDA FISHING REPORT
Pioneered by Sun Sports and undoubtedly the only show of its kind currently on television, this live one-hour Emmy Award-winning series gives Florida’s fishing enthusiasts a full news report each Thursday evening on where the fish are biting, what’s biting and tips from some of Florida most renowned anglers in a fast-paced, entertaining and informative style. With live reports from expert anglers in seven different Florida regions, the show quickly gained an audience with its unique presentation. At the conclusion of its first successful season in 2003, the network heard from viewers from the Panhandle to the Keys, many commenting on how the program had become a “must-watch” for them each week as they prepared for a weekend of fishing in Florida.
SPORTSTALK LIVE PRESENTED BY BELLSOUTH
Put a panel of Florida sports media together and there’s bound to be a good amount of spirited conversation and often controversial commentary. That’s the concept behind Sun Sports’ popular Monday night sports talk show, “SportsTalk Live.” Each week, sports media from around the state get together at Sun Sports’ studios to debate and discuss the hottest stories in Florida sports and the big sports stories from around the country. Viewers participate with e-mail questions for the panel and the topics run the gamut from game predictions to who will get the next highly coveted coaching position.
UNDER THE LIGHTS
This unique, all-access series draws upon Sun Sports’ longstanding television partnerships with many of the state’s professional and collegiate teams providing viewers with a behind-the-scenes look at some of Florida’s top sports stories and newsmakers away from the playing fields. Given unparalleled access by the schools, coaches and teams, the series allows viewers to witness preparations rarely seen by anyone outside the teams/programs. The network’s cameras are at practices and team meetings, among other events, where viewers hear strategy and planning usually reserved for only the participants, plus segments from inside their homes, on campus and in the community. Subjects have included the off-season rebuilding of the Orlando Magic, the amazing success of the Florida volleyball team and Coach Mary Wise, an inside week-long look at the FSU football team as it prepared to take on NC State in football, and a compelling profile of the legendary Howard Schnellenberger as he prepares his FAU Owls for the 2004 football season.
INSIDE THE HEAT
As the Miami HEAT’s exclusive regional TV partner, Sun Sports is uniquely positioned as the HEAT fan’s ultimate source for not only game telecasts and special on-air features and interviews, but also for a riveting new season-long television series designed to offer fans unparalleled access to their favorite players. All new in the 2004-05 season, INSIDE THE HEAT gives fans a unique, behind the scenes perspective of the lives of HEAT players. Each episode turns the spotlight on a different HEAT teammate and focuses on their lives outside of basketball.
INSIDE THE LIGHTNING
The predecessor to INSIDE THE HEAT, this series was the first Sun Sports developed that was designed to provide fans with the kind of off-the-ice access and insight into their favorite players they’d not seen before. The half-hour program profiles one Lightning player per episode, focusing on their career and season to date, in addition to highlighting their life off the ice and away from the game.
LIVE NEWS CONFERENCES, SEASON PREVIEWS, BOWL PREVIEWS AND MORE….
With its Florida studios and its established access to Florida’s sports teams, Sun Sports can offer fans programming with angles and insight not available elsewhere. This can include live news conferences from the network’s team partners with exclusive interviews and expert commentary from Sunshine’s on-air experts – the analysts who cover these teams day in and day out. It includes season preview and bowl preview specials offering in-depth analysis from inside the programs. It can include programming created specifically around the big events in Florida – like a live, on-site edition of “SportsTalk Live” from the Stanley Cup Finals or from the Miami HEAT’s home opener. It can include a live remote during “Chevy Tailgate Saturday” with the very latest in news from the big game that day.
Wherever the compelling stories are in Florida sports, that’s where viewers find Sunshine Network, soon to be Sun Sports, and its quality team of production and on-air talent, bringing Florida sports fans the very best in Florida sports coverage.