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Blast from the Past: Prime Ticket

2/26/2006 4:00 PM Eastern

Proving the adage, “Everything old is new again,” FSN will rebrand its second Western-states regional sports channel, readopting the “Prime Ticket” name the service wore in the 1980s and 1990s.

FSN West 2 will be rechristened FSN Prime Ticket April 3. The channel -- which Liberty Sports LLC acquired from its original owners, cable-industry pioneer Bill Daniels and Jerry Buss, owner of the National Basketball Association’s Los Angeles Lakers -- was known as Prime Ticket before Fox purchased it and dropped the name in favor of the Fox Sports Net brand in November 1996.

Although both FSN West and FSN West 2 carry marquee sports -- including Los Angeles Dodgers and Angels Major League Baseball games (the “Halos” have reportedly reached a 10-year, $500 million renewal deal with the two services); Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Mighty Ducks National Hockey League action; Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers NBA tilts; and college sports, among other fare -- there was some feeling of inequity because of the names. FSN spokeswoman Jennifer Johnson said the names gave the sense that FSN West was “better” than network No. 2.

Network officials conducted a Web poll late last year and found that consumers remembered the Prime Ticket name fondly. They also responded that the name evoked excitement and professionalism.

Other possible names that were considered: Fox Sports West Southern California or Fox Sports Los Angeles. Those were rejected, though, because the network did not want to alienate teams nor isolate viewers. The network is distributed to Nevada and Hawaii in addition to Southern California.

The renaming will coincide with Dodgers’ opening day, April 3. The switch will occur one hour before game time, when the channel will debut a new show, Dodgers Live.Each sport will get the “live’ treatment, with the set color-coded with the team colors. In addition to the name change, the network will beef up its original-programming slate.

Teaser billboards boasting, “The Ticket is Coming,” began appearing in Los Angeles Feb. 6. On March 4, the billboards will explain the name change.

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