Hornets Coverage Moving from Cox Sports Television to Fox Sports

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Published: May 29, 2012

Sports Business Daily is reporting that Cox Sports Television has opted against competing for the rights to continue broadcasting New Orleans Hornets games, and as a result, team coverage will move over to Fox Sports.

You can read all about the change in Hornets coverage in SBD’s column here, but suffice it to say that this should mean nothing but good things for the Hornets; in fact, it is a move we discussed back in February, establishing the existence of a broadcaster with the distribution and production the Hornets desired that was also in need of a team to broadcast. The report states that Hornets games were accessible to only 37% of the New Orleans market, a shockingly low number that will certainly see a drastic increase as a result of moving from Cox to Fox. In addition to vastly improved coverage, the quality of the actual game broadcasts should be immensely clearer. Not much more is known at the moment, but we will bring you more information about this change as soon as it becomes available.

Fox Sports is currently a part of a low cost package with the area’s major broadcasters: Dish, DirecTV, Cox, and Charter. CST on Charter, for example, required an additional small payment.

Gil, Bob, etc. broadcast the games as Hornets employees, so their continuation in their current capacity, as Sean Kelley and Gerry V have done through the radio station changes, is a decision of the team and of the employees.

There is a reasonable expectation of 82 games being broadcast by our Fox Sports feed, whatever that may be called, all in HD. The Thunder have had their entire regular season schedule broadcast on Fox Sports Oklahoma since their deal was signed in 2010, and they are in a small market like the Hornets.

22 comments
Animeswordmaster
Animeswordmaster

So will the games be shown on the local Fox 8 channel or will it be solely on the Fox Sports channel, which if I'm not mistaken is only available on cable?

Jacob
Jacob

Not a chance, basketball is NEVER broadcast over local channels in any part of the country. The NFL is the only league that does this as a result of contracts with CBS and FOX to carry it's Sunday package. BTW, where would you expect the Fox primetime lineup to go??

big sslimm
big sslimm

Anyone know if Fox's digital antenna signal will show the games? If so that is a nice size audience of folks like me.

Jacob
Jacob

not a chance, basketball is NEVER broadcast over local channels anywhere. The NFL is the only league that does this

J
J

I hate Bob and Gil get some new guys I like Gus Johnson and P.J Brown but thats me.

StefanC
StefanC

I don't even live in New Orleans (yet), but this gets me very excited for the local fan base!

cheide1
cheide1

Hopefully this deal will include the shreveport area. Any chance this will be the case? Fox sports sw broadcasts all the mavs games up here

cheide1
cheide1

I hope this deal will include the shreveport area. Any chance this will be the case? I'm sick of all the mavs coverage on fox sports sw

okithor
okithor

I hope they keep Gil and Bob. I think they do an awesome job with the games!

venters
venters

Fox Sports Swamp

BrowDown504
BrowDown504

LOVE IT and The Logo will have a Gator at the bottom!!!!!!

James McPherson
James McPherson

So which Fox Sports regional network is going to carry these Hornets' games? The only Fox Sports channel I recall on Cox Cable is Fox Sports Southwest, isn't it? Where they "show" Houston Rockets games that are always substituted with poker ... CST may not have been big time, but at least they did the Hornets proud. I would worry they are going to get lost at Fox.

Jacob
Jacob

It will be on the new Fox Sports New Orleans. Right now there is Fox Sports Southwest Dallas, FSSW Houston, FSSW San Antonio, and FSSW Alternate on our guide which is currently off the air. My guess is that on the October 31st launch date, the FSSW Alternate will be flipped to FSSW New Orleans and broadcast the first hornets regular season game, the first regionally televised game we will be able to see see. Keep in mind the final preseason game before that will be national on ESPN. :)

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

What are you worried about? I can't tell. I suggest you give the broadcasting community the time to lay out the plan, make this official, etc, then give them the credit that they can point the games to at least one tv in Louisiana. Rinse, repeat. The fox sports x that carries them will be where the rockets games are now likely since fox is losing them (see article from february). Fox will be paying tens of millions to broadcast these games. They won't be lost.

James McPherson
James McPherson

I'm not necessarily worried (although Fox Sports SW really has a pretty poor track record of developing watchable & local programming), and they certainly deserve the benefit of the doubt to develop their programming around the Hornets, but I cannot but wonder how they plan to make Hornets games "regional" to the Fox Sports Southwest platform ... seeing that we aren't particularly SW and they have made ZERO effort to develop/culture a Louisiana audience so far. If this is but a step in remedying that, then this is fantastic news. But if they treat the Hornets like they treated Rockets' games I think there may be some tangible concerns. I do know there are several regional Fox Sports channels (not available here, obviously) so they may have a multi-pronged approach that I cannot foresee, or even a new local Fox Sports channel (wish!). At this point we don't know anything about their plans, so perhaps I'm just acting like Chicken Little. Fox Soccer Channel is an exceptional one, so the potential for them to "do it right" is there.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

Thanks for elaborating. Let me help as best I can at the moment. Fox Sports Net is a collection of major units, like Fox Sports Southwest. These major units can be refined into minor units, like Fox Sports Houston. FSH shares some of its programming with other minor units (like Cowboys garbage), but will show Rockets game (until recently) instead of Spurs games. We had Fox Sports Southwest here on Cox. That became Fox Sports Houston. That station will persist even without the Rockets, but it's not likely that we'll keep Fox Sports Houston. Fox Sports Net has Fox Sports South and SportSouth in this Southeastern part of the country, so there could be a general reshuffling of territory etc., we could be just part of Fox Sports South with Atlanta (they have the Hawks) getting a subfeed, Louisiana or the coast could get a such a beast. Many options. They have months to figure it out, really. If it sticks. How's that? I'm happy to research to help with your concerns . . . others have them, they just aren't stating them, which is why you are thanked.

MichaelCRL
MichaelCRL

Finally...I have felt punished for having Directv for years. I hope it means we can all finally get the games. Perhaps I can stop watching Game/stat Center apps throughout the season.

nolahog
nolahog

Huge. Maybe some bars in town will actually start showing Hornets games. . .

Rich
Rich

So this means I will no longer be receiving the blackout notification when I try to watch Hornets games on League Pass?

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

My guess is you will if you do now. It has nothing to do with who carries the games. And go Lions.

StefanC
StefanC

Yes! Maybe League Pass will finally broadcast Hornets games with our commentators! After so many years of watching the road team's broadcasters talk about the same things every game, this is such great news!