Football Network

The Football Network was a network that covered all aspects of American football, including the NFL, college football, high school, and various semi-pro and indoor leagues. The network was owned by TFN, The Football Network, Inc. a public traded corporation (OTCBB: TFNK).[2]

TFN is one of the few nationwide TV networks in the United States that has ever been owned by an African-American.

The Football Network
LaunchedSeptember 5, 1998
Owned byTFN - The Football Network, Inc.
SloganEnough is never enough[1]
CountryUS archived



The Football Network was founded in 1996 by Jantonio Turner, when he wanted to find more football highlights and discovered that no other all-football channel existed.[1] He was first mentored by Sheldon Altfeld, who had launched his own channel and was giving seminars to entrepreneurs who wished to begin their own networks.

On September 5, 1998, a preview airing of the channel occurred on a C-band satellite.[3] The channel continued this part-time broadcast of two hours every Saturday with an hour on two different transponders.[1] The network signed a letter of intent, an early step towards a master agreement, with the National Cable Television Cooperative.[3]

The Football Network went public on October 20, 1998, when it began trading on the OTC bulletin board to help it attract the funding necessary to launch.[3] Over the next few years the company laid the groundwork for the establishment of a channel from extensive qualitative and quantitative market research, to hiring Newberger Greenberg and Associates, the media consulting firm who did the business plans for The Golf Channel.

In 2001, Jerry Solomon, husband of Nancy Kerrigan, joined the network.[4][5]

By 2003, a number of other single sports channels, including Black Belt TV, the Ice Channel, NFL Network and Tennis Channel, joined TFN in looking to launch on the new digital tier of cable. While Gol TV and College Sports Television launched in early 2003.[6] By March 2003, the network and the 13 conferences of the NCCAA Division I-AA agreed to start the NCAA Division I-AA College Football All-Star Classic to be held and broadcast on December 30.[7]

In May 2003, the company agreed to a deal to be headquartered in Baton Rouge, temporarily at the Louisiana Public Broadcasting's studios. Meanwhile, a permanent facility would be constructed at the Bon Carré Business Park.[8] As a part of the deal, the state would take less than 10% equity stake in the company and grant 15 year tax credits. Previously, the company was located in Lynnfield, Massachusetts.[9]

In July 2003 the Spike channel agreed to carry an hour of TFN programming a week.[10] By August 2003, The Football Network signed the Atlantic 10 Conference, followed by the Patriot and Pioneer leagues and the Southern, Big Sky, and Big South conferences. For the University of Maine Black Bears, an Atlantic 10 team, TFN planned to produced and simulcast live eight games for Fox Sports Net New England and the network.[11] The National Cable Television Cooperative signed a master agreement with the network by August 18 for its member cable operators to allow them to pick up the channel.[10]

The network was syndicating its programming in late August 2003 until its cable launch. TFN had 50 Division I-AA games on its first year's schedule.[12]

In early September 2003, a controversy occurred as the NFL did not let Fox Sports Net use footage for its fantasy sports shows. It was revealed by Solomon that TFN did not even request footage usage, but was surprised by the NFL's refusal to its broadcasting partner Fox Sport.[13] Also by early September it was reported by the Toronto Star that the Canadian Football League was moving to get its games back on US national television by asking for bids from TFN, Fox Sports Net and the WB.[14]

On September 26, 2003, the network had a soft launch, with a targeted hard launch on November 1. Before the hard launch, the network was allowing cable systems to pick the network up for free. The expected contract rate for the operators at the time was free for the first two years, and would go to around 10 cents per subscriber thereafter.[15] By December 2003, the network, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable agreed to allow their local systems to determine if TFN would be carried on that system.[4]

Some programming was still being syndicated while being simulcast on TFN. For example, the Yale-Columbia Ivy League game in early November was on The Football Network while being shown on seven TV outlets, including cable channel Empire Sports Network via tape delay on November 2.[2]

The channel aired for a while, only go off the air late in the year,[16] in the week of December 8, putting its production crew of 30 on unpaid furlough. The Football Network also canceled the Division I-AA all star game, the key show of its launch. Its Spike fantasy show was also canceled that week. The network had by this time produced 70 games. Slow capital raising and slow cable operator pickup had hampered the network. CEO Solomon indicated that $5 million to $7 million was needed to return to broadcasting by its new target date of January 19, 2004. Over the previous two years, since Solomon had joined TFN, the company had spent $3.5 million per year, ending with $2 million in debt.[4]

Mounting costs and very low distribution, combined with the NFL launching their network, Fox Sports Net launching their College Sports suite, and the higher profile launch of CSTV, made lasting on the air difficult.

By October 2004, Solomon had left the CEO position.[5] In June 2005, Robert Lucey, president of Putnam Investments, was named to the company board of directors.[17] Turner announced on August 4, 2009 a reorganization plan for TFN. The company moved its headquarters into in the Bon Carré Business Park.[16]


While planning not to carry any NFL games and no major college games, plans included having Arena Football, Australian Rules football, college Division I-AA, high school, Pop Warner, the World League and classic replay games.[6] Additional programs were planned in the form of fantasy, instruction, movies, news, talk and highlight shows and player profiles.[6]

  • CFL Playoff Game[2]
  • College Football Today[15]
  • Echoes of Glory - College Football Hall of Fame[2]
  • Founded 2003: Birth of a Tradition, formerly Coastal Carolina: Making of a Dream, a documentary series and first program aired; followed the first year of Coastal Carolina University's football program[15][2]
  • College Football Scoreboard [15]
  • Fantasy Football Countdown[15]
  • TFN Preview Show[2]
  • TFN Tonight, a nightly wrap-up show[15]
  • Preps Game of the Week[2]
  • Spike, syndicated[18][2]
    • Fantasy Football 2003 with Danny Sheridan, Paul Crane and Jerry Glanville
    • Football 101 with Kathleen Murphy and D'Marco Farr

Division I-AA College Football All-Star Classic

By March 2003, the network and the 13 conferences of the NCCAA Division I-AA agreed to start the NCAA Division I-AA College Football All-Star Classic to be held and broadcast on December 30 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The two teams would be named after famous I-AA coach Eddie Robinson and player Walter Payton. One of the first 50 chosen to play in the all star game was Southeast Missouri State University senior quarterback Jack Tomco.[7] By November 3, 2003, American Airlines had signed on as presenting sponsor in a primarily barter deal, trading travel arrangements for coaches and players for advertising and category exclusivity during the game; additional promotion on TFN's website, its Sports Byline USA weekly radio segment and sideline banners and scoreboard; plus tickets and hospitality.[19]



  1. ^ a b c Friedlander, Brett (September 20, 1998). "FOOTBALL NETWORK KICKS OFF". Fayetteville Observer. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "The Football Network Employing High-Def Production in Saturday's Yale-Columbia Game from New York. -". Free Online Library. The Football Network. Market Wire. October 30, 2003. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Farrell, MIke (November 8, 1998). "Football Network Kicks Off Stock Sale". Multichannel. NewBay Media, LLC. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c ANDY BERNSTEIN, ANDY BERNSTEIN (December 15, 2003). "Football Network needs $5M to $7M quick". Sports Business Journal. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Genzale, John (October 18, 2004). "John Genzale: Inside Out". Sports Business Journal (Volume 2004 No. 10). American City Business Journals. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c Sandomir, Richard (February 23, 2003). "TV SPORTS; Coming on the Digital Sports Dial: A Selection of Singular Sensations". The New York Times. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  7. ^ a b Mishow, Marty (March 6, 2004). "Tomco chosen for All-Star Classic". Southeast Missourian. Archived from the original on March 6, 2004. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  8. ^ "TFN formalizes agreement to locate in BR". WBRZ, Louisiana Broadcasting LLC and The Advocate, Capital City Press LLC. AP. May 15, 2003. Archived from the original on October 5, 2003. Retrieved November 9, 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  9. ^ Kaplan, Daniel (May 16, 2003). "Louisiana takes a stake in Football Network in exchange for facilities". Sport Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  10. ^ a b "Football Network signs distribution deal". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. AP. August 19, 2003. Archived from the original on 19 December 2003. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  11. ^ a b c Neff, Andrew (August 1, 2003). "TFN adds Bears game to schedule". Bangor Daily News. Archived from the original on October 14, 2003. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  12. ^ Moss, Tony. "Third & Long: Week Two - Turning It On". Sports Network. Archived from the original on January 27, 2004. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  13. ^ Adams, Russell (September 15, 2003). "NFL's refusal to license footage for fantasy shows leaves observers curious". Sports Business Journal (September 15 - 21, 2003). American City Business Journals. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  14. ^ "News in brief from The Sports Business Daily". Sports Business Journal (August 11 - 17, 2003). American City Business Journals. August 11, 2003. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  15. ^ a b c d e f Bernstein, Andy (September 15, 2003). "Signal call: Football Net sets soft launch". Sports Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  16. ^ a b "Football Network announces revitalization plan". Baton Rouge Business Report. August 5, 2009. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  17. ^ "People". Sports Business Journal (June 20 - 26, 2005). American City Business Journals. June 20, 2005. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  18. ^ Bernstein, Andy (September 15, 2003). "Signal call: Football Net sets soft launch". Sports Business Journal. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  19. ^ Lefton, Terry (November 3, 2003). "All-Star Classic adds American as sponsor". Sport Business Journal (November 3 - 9, 2003). Retrieved November 21, 2016.

External links

75th Grey Cup

The 75th Grey Cup was the 1987 Canadian Football League championship game that was played at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, between the Edmonton Eskimos and the Toronto Argonauts. The Eskimos defeated the Argonauts 38-36, on Jerry Kauric's last second field-goal.

78th Grey Cup

The 78th Grey Cup was the 1990 Canadian Football League championship game played between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Edmonton Eskimos at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Blue Bombers defeated the Eskimos, 50–11.

Aledo High School (Texas)

Aledo High School is a public high school located in Aledo, Texas (USA) and classified as a 5A school by the UIL. It is part of the Aledo Independent School District located in south central Parker County. Along with Aledo, students attend from the towns of Annetta and Annetta South as well as portions of Annetta North, Hudson Oaks, and Willow Park. In 2018, the school was rated "Met Standard" by the Texas Education Agency with a two star distinction in Mathematics and Social Studies.

Bill Hillgrove

Bill Hillgrove (born November 20, 1940) is an American sports journalist, radio personality, and sports broadcaster. He is currently the lead play-by-play broadcaster for the Pittsburgh Steelers football network (102.5 WDVE) and for the University of Pittsburgh sports network (93.7 The Fan). He calls Pitt football games with Bill Osborn, and Pitt basketball games with National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Famer Dick Groat and former Pitt guard Curtis Aiken.

Bob Irving (sportscaster)

Bob "Knuckles" Irving, (born 1950) is a Canadian sportscaster and the radio play-by-play voice for the Canadian Football League's Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He is also the former sports director for CJOB radio in Manitoba and a member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.A native of Regina, Saskatchewan, Irving began his radio career in the 1960s, working at a small radio station in Estevan. He moved to Brandon, Manitoba in 1970 and then to Winnipeg in 1973 to join CJOB. A year later, he began calling Blue Bomber games for the station. During his career, Irving has also called several Grey Cup games on national radio. He also called CFL games nationally for the league-produced Canadian Football Network from 1987 to 1990.

Irving was inducted into the Football Reporters of Canada section of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1997. In 2013, the Blue Bombers named the new media room at Investors Group Field in his honour. In 2014, he was made a member of the Order of Manitoba.


CFL on CTV was a presentation of Canadian Football League football aired on the CTV Television Network from 1962 to 1986. CTV dropped coverage of the CFL after the 1986 season. CTV's coverage was replaced by TSN and the newly created Canadian Football Network.

Canadian Football Network

The Canadian Football Network (CFN) was the official television syndication service of the Canadian Football League from 1987 to 1990.

Celina High School (Texas)

Celina High School is a public high school located in Celina, Texas, United States. It is part of the Celina Independent School District located in northwestern Collin County and classified as a 4A school by the UIL. In 2015, the school was rated "Met Standard" by the Texas Education Agency.


GOALTV was a football network offering Asia audiences coverage of European football. This included live games from three major European leagues as well as behind-the-scenes access to three Premier League clubs in England, Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool, in addition to FC Barcelona & Real Madrid FC of Spain.

Goal TV has closed down on 1 June 2013 in Singapore via SingTel mio TV Service and other Pay TV Providers in South East Asia with effect from 2 June 2013 and 3 June 2013 for Website.

Greenlandic Football Championship

The Greenlandic Football Championship (Greenlandic: Isikkamik Arsaalluni Pissartanngorniunneq, GM, Danish: Grønlandsmesterskab i fodbold), known as the Coca-Cola GM for sponsorship reasons, is the premier football competition in Greenland. It was established in 1954 and since 1971, it has been organised by the Football Association of Greenland. This association is not a part of FIFA or any other continental confederations. B-67 is the most successful football team to have won the championship.

Leander High School

Leander High School is a secondary school in Leander, Texas, United States, and is part of the Leander Independent School District. It was established in 1983 and was the only high school in district, until the establishment of Cedar Park High School in 1998.

The school has a freshman enrollment of 600 students and is accredited by the Texas Education Agency. Historically the school served a mainly rural population, but starting in the early 1990s the area experienced growth due to expansion of high tech industries in the nearby Austin area. In 1999, the school became an International Baccalaureate school.

As of 2017, the school principal is Chris Simpson.

The school's mascots are Leo the Lion and Leah the Lioness. The school colors are blue, white, and red.

Nick Bastaja

Nick Bastaja (born February 4, 1953 in Grantham, England of Serbian parents) is a former professional Canadian football offensive lineman who played fourteen seasons in the Canadian Football League. He was part of the Grey Cup championship-winning Winnipeg Blue Bombers teams of 1984 and 1988. Bastaja won the CFL's Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman Award in the 1985 CFL season.

After his retirement as a player, Bastaja spent two seasons as a colour commentator for CFL games on the Canadian Football Network.

Ohio State IMG Sports Network

The Ohio State IMG Sports Network is an American radio network consisting of 68 radio stations which carry coverage of Ohio State Buckeyes football and men's basketball. WBNS/Columbus (1460 AM) and sister station WBNS-FM/Columbus (97.1 FM) serve as the network's 2 flagship stations. The network also includes 66 affiliates in the U.S. states of Ohio and West Virginia: 40 AM stations, 3 of which extend their signals with low-power FM translators; and 26 full-power FM stations. Paul Keels has served as play-by-play announcer for both football and men's basketball since 1998; former Ohio State offensive guard Jim Lachey currently serves as color analyst for football; and former Ohio State point guard Ron Stokes currently serves as color analyst for men's basketball.


WBPC is an independently owned commercial radio station licensed to Ebro, Florida, with offices and studios located in Panama City, Florida, broadcasting on 95.1 FM. WBPC airs a Classic Hits music format, branded as "The Greatest Hits of the '60s, '70s and '80s", ABC News Now in the morning and afternoon drive, and is an affiliate of the Alabama Crimson Tide Football network.

In 2009, WBPC was purchased by Beach Radio, Inc., from Bay Broadcasting. Concurrent with the sale, veteran Panama City radio personalities Lisa Lynnette and David Nolin joined the station for midday and afternoon drive, respectively, joining longtime personality Jim Dooley, the morning drive host. Tom Kent hosts the nighttime show on Beach 95.1. Lynnette left the station in March, 2013, and Tori Shay joined as midday host at that time. Dooley left in August, 2015, and was replaced in morning drive by Wayne Gentry, also recognized as a local television meteorologist. Steve Kent and Jackie Newton host overnight and weekend programs. Nolin also serves as WBPC's Operations Manager and Program Director.

Other notable programming on Beach 95.1 includes "Goddard's Gold" with Steve Goddard, Sunday nights from 9-midnight; "Powerline" with Jon Rivers, Sunday from 6 until 11am, and The Rocky and Randall Road Show, hosted by brothers Rocky and Randall Akins, Saturday mornings from 7-10am.

Beach 95.1's programming is streamed online at the station website,, and is available via the TuneIn app and at


WFHT (1390 AM) & W298BU (107.5 FM) is a radio station licensed to Avon Park, Florida. WFHT is owned by Jhonson Napoleon, through licensee WFHT LLC, and operates with 1,000 watts day and 77 watts at night and is known on-air as Kiss 107.5 (after its translator frequency).

WFHT became the first of six stations in Highlands County to broadcast live over the Internet, and the first to video stream live when it broadcasts its debate weeks over the Internet at in August and October.

WFHT until January 2015 aired a nationally syndicated talk show lineup that included Rick and Bubba, Neal Boortz, Michael Savage, Mark Levin, and Phil Hendrie Mondays through Fridays, and specialty talk shows on the weekends. WFHT is also an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team, the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team, and NFL and NCAA football games. In 2015, WFHT began broadcasting Florida A&M Rattlers football games via the "Rattler Football Network".

The former talk station also featured local talk show hosts Dale Pflug and Lester Lob.


WIP-FM (94.1 FM, "Sports Radio 94 WIP") is a commercial FM radio station licensed to serve Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The station is owned by Entercom and broadcasts a sports radio format. The WIP-FM offices and studios are located on the 9th floor of 400 Market Street in Philadelphia, and the broadcast tower used by the station is located in the Roxborough section of Philadelphia at (40°02′30.1″N 75°14′10.1″W).WIP-FM is the flagship station for the Philadelphia Eagles Football Network and the MLB Philadelphia Phillies Radio Network. The station has local hosts days and evenings, with programming from CBS Sports Radio heard overnight.

WIP-FM broadcasts using HD Radio. Its HD2 subchannel is a simulcast of co-owned 1060 KYW's all-news format. The HD3 channel carries a classic rock format that had been once heard on 94.1 when it was WYSP. The HD4 channel is known as "Eagles 24/7," with continuous programming about the football team.


WTNA (1430 AM) is an oldies radio station licensed to Altoona, Pennsylvania. The station is branded as "Toona 1430". The station is owned by Forever Broadcasting.

WTNA is the flagship station for Altoona Curve baseball. It is also the Altoona affiliate of the Penn State Sports Network, Pittsburgh Steelers Football Network, and Pitt Basketball games on the Pitt ISP Radio Network.


WZBQ (94.1 FM, "94.1 ZBQ") is a Top 40 (CHR) music formatted radio station licensed to Carrollton, Alabama, with studios located in Tuscaloosa. The station is owned by iHeartMedia, Inc..

WZBQ serves west-central Alabama and most of east-central Mississippi with an ERP of 98,000 Watts, broadcasting at 94.1 MHz. The station was formerly the Tuscaloosa FM affiliate of the Alabama Crimson Tide football network. Cities in WZBQ's primary coverage area include Tuscaloosa, Carrollton, Aliceville and Fayette in Alabama and Columbus and Starkville in Mississippi.


WZXR (99.3 FM) is a rock music formatted radio station licensed to serve Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The station is owned by Backyard Broadcasting, through licensee Backyard Broadcasting PA, LLC. The station bills itself as "Susquehanna Valley's Home of Rock and Roll".

Notable on air personalities include The Bob and Tom Show, John Finn, Ian Emerson, and Mike Matthews. Programming includes Flashback, In The Studio, Dee Snider's The House of Hair, and WZXR is also a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers Football Network.

WZXR was launched in September 1991 with the song "Long Live Rock" by The Who and air-personality Bubba (Dan Bozyk).

Occasional coverage
Monday Night
Sunday Night
Pregame TV
NFL Network
NFL Films
TV programs
Other TV programs
Radio broadcast
by event
TV technology
Other TV

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.