New York -- Fox Sports Net regional networks will produce
and distribute 30-minute local sports-news shows beginning in June, Fox Sports executives
The half-hour shows will run nightly at 11 p.m.,
immediately after the one-hour national Fox Sports news show, executive vice president of
programming Arthur Smith said. The regional networks will hire local hosts for the
"Our goal is to provide the latest and most in-depth
national and local sports news on television, thus becoming the viewer's first sports
choice," Smith said. "Our regional shows will be like reading the sports section
of your local newspaper."
While the newscasts will be produced in-house at each
regional service, Fox Sports Net will work with the regionals to provide reports,
interviews and other materials necessary to develop the shows.
Regional sports executives lauded the announcement, which
provides the networks with a greater opportunity to connect with their subscribers both on
a local and national level.
"We feel that our fans want to hear the national news,
as well as the local news, from their local [sportscasters]," Fox Sports Net
Pittsburgh executive producer Paul Kosuth said.
"Local news is critical for us. It differentiates
ourselves from everyone else in the marketplace," Fox Sports Net Chicago vice
president and general manager Jim Corno explained. "We now have time to go more
in-depth with our local newscasts."
To fill the 11 p.m. time slot before the launch of the
regional sports reports, Fox Sports Net will debut a 10-week run of FX's Toughman
World Championship series beginning Jan. 17.
Once Toughman ends, Fox Sports Net will air a new,
half-hour game show, Sports Geniuses, the network said.