Proving the adage “everything old is new again,” Fox Sports Networks has decided to 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 on April 3. The channel — which Liberty Sports 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.
Though 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 Mighty Ducks National Hockey League action, Lakers and Clippers National Basketball Association 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 Fox Sports 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: FSN West Southern California or FSN 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 the 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 that “The Ticket is coming,” appeared in Los Angeles, beginning on Feb. 6. On March 4, billboards will explain the name change.