Fox Sports Net North renewed its distribution deal with Time Warner Cable in
Wisconsin, the parties announced Thursday.
The contract, terms of which were not disclosed, keeps the regional sports
service on Time Warner, the state's largest cable provider with nearly 600,000
All told, FSN North reaches some 2.8 million homes throughout Wisconsin,
Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota.
The regional sports network provides coverage of the National Basketball
Association's Minnesota Timberwolves and Milwaukee Bucks; the Women's National
Basketball Association's Minnesota Lynx; the National Hockey League's Minnesota
Wild; and Major League Baseball's Milwaukee Brewers and Minnesota Twins.
The distribution deal between FSN North and Time Warner comes as the Twins'
ownership plans to launch its own regional sports network in the Midwest early
next year, even though the club's games may not be on it next spring.
The service, Victory Sports, has reached a distribution agreement with ESPN
for carriage of ESPNews and a package of Minnesota-area college-sports events,
as well as games from other college conferences.
But FSN North sued the Twins and Victory president Kevin Cattoor in May for
trying to end its long-term distribution deal with the network.
FSN averred that its contract calls for an extension of its Twins deal
through the 2002 and 2003 seasons if there is 'an acceptable stadium solution,
excluding a new stadium.'
Cattoor, previously general manger of Midwest Sports Channel -- which changed
its name to FSN North after Fox Cable Networks acquired it from Viacom Inc.'s
CBS Cable this past February -- contended that the team does not have an
'acceptable' stadium deal.
For its part, FSN has maintained that the Twins have a lease to play in its
current stadium, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, through the next two
FSN North representative Greg Phillips said the litigation was continuing but
declined further comment.