Fox Sports Florida is an American regional sports network that is owned by The Walt Disney Company, and operates as an affiliate of Fox Sports Networks. The channel broadcasts local sports coverage in the state of Florida, with a focus on professional sports teams based in Miami, Tampa and Orlando.
Fox Sports Florida maintains production facilities and offices located in Fort Lauderdale, alongside sister network Fox Sports Sun. The channel is available on cable television providers throughout Florida, and in parts of southern Alabama and Georgia; it is also available nationwide on satellite via Dish Network and DirecTV.
On December 14, 2017, as part of a merger between both companies, The Walt Disney Company announced plans to acquire all 22 regional Fox Sports networks from 21st Century Fox, including Fox Sports Florida. However, on June 27, 2018, the Justice Department ordered their divestment under antitrust grounds, citing Disney's ownership of ESPN. On May 3, 2019, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Entertainment Studios (through their joint venture, Diamond Holdings) bought Fox Sports Networks from The Walt Disney Company for $10.6 billion. The deal is subject to regulatory approval.
|Fox Sports Florida|
|Launched||July 1, 1987|
|Network||Fox Sports Networks|
|Owned by||The Walt Disney Company|
(sale pending to Sinclair Broadcast Group)
|Picture format||720p (HDTV)|
Spanish (via SAP)
|Headquarters||Fort Lauderdale, Florida|
|Formerly called||SportsChannel Florida (1987–2000)|
Fox Sports Net Florida (2000–2004)
FSN Florida (2004–2008)
|Sister channel(s)||Fox Sports Sun|
(Some events may air on overflow feed Fox Sports Florida Plus due to event conflicts)
|DirecTV||654 Fox Sports Florida (SD/HD)|
655 Fox Sports Florida Plus (SD)
654-1 Fox Sports Florida Plus HD
|Dish Network||423 (SD)|
|Available on all Florida cable systems||Consult your local cable provider or program listings source for channel availability|
|Fox Sports Go||www.foxsportsgo.com/|
(U.S. cable internet subscribers only; requires login from participating providers to stream content; some events may not be available due to league rights restrictions)
|Sling TV||Internet Protocol television|
Fox Sports Florida was launched on July 1, 1987 as SportsChannel Florida. It was originally owned by Rainbow Media (a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation), and was the fourth regional network of SportsChannel America. The network originally featured coverage of local college teams, holding the broadcast rights to televise select games from the University of Florida, Florida State University, University of Miami, University of South Florida and Jacksonville University. In addition to national SportsChannel programming, the channel also showed select New York Yankees and New York Mets games from SportsChannel New York, and select Chicago White Sox games broadcast by SportsChannel Chicago.
In the spring of 1988, SportsChannel Florida obtained the regional cable television rights to broadcast NBA games from the Miami Heat, effective with the 1988–89 season. In 1992, SportsChannel lost the television contract to the Heat to then-rival Sunshine Network. Heat games would return to the channel in the late 1990s when both networks came under the ownership of Fox Sports parent News Corporation.
In 1996, Florida Panthers owner Wayne Huizenga purchased a 70% controlling interest in SportsChannel Florida, with Rainbow Media (by that time, a joint venture between Cablevision and NBC) retaining a minority 30% interest. That led Huizenga to move the NHL franchise's game telecasts from Sunshine Network to SportsChannel Florida for the 1996–97 season. The following year in 1997, SportsChannel Florida obtained the rights to the Florida Marlins – also owned by Huizenga – which moved its broadcasts from the Sunshine Network starting with that year's Major League Baseball season. In 1998, SportsChannel Florida gained the regional cable rights to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays Major League Baseball expansion team.
Unlike the other networks that were members of the SportsChannel America chain, Huizenga's control of SportsChannel Florida prevented the channel from joining Fox Sports Net in early 1998. Cablevision finally repurchased Huizenga's share of the network in November 1999. The network was relaunched as Fox Sports Net Florida on March 1, 2000, making it the last SportsChannel Network to adopt the Fox Sports Net brand. In February 2005, News Corporation acquired Cablevision's ownership stakes in Fox Sports Florida and Fox Sports Ohio, following an asset trade in which Fox sold its interest in Madison Square Garden and the arena's NBA and NHL team tenants, the New York Knicks and New York Rangers, to Cablevision, in exchange for acquiring sole ownership of the two Fox Sports regional networks. News Corporation spun off most of its entertainment properties into 21st Century Fox in July 2013.
FOX Sports Florida holds the regional cable television rights to the NBA's Orlando Magic, the NHL's Florida Panthers, and the Miami Marlins of Major League Baseball. It also carries coverage of college sports events from the Big East, Big 12, Conference USA and Atlantic Coast Conferences.
Fox Sports Florida shares the broadcast rights to the aforementioned professional sports teams with Fox Sports Sun (with Miami Heat games transmitted to cable providers in South Florida, and Orlando Magic games aired exclusively on Fox Sports Florida  in Central and Northern Florida. The two channels do not focus on one region of Florida, but simply distribute games in accordance with each team's territorial rights, with both cable channels maintaining exclusivity over regional broadcasts of Lightning, Heat, Marlins, Rays, Magic and Panthers games.
The Tampa Bay Lightning, Miami Heat and Tampa Bay Rays are televised on Fox Sports Sun, while the Orlando Magic, Miami Marlins and Florida Panthers are televised on Fox Sports Florida. Additionally, each network televises exclusive shoulder programming highlighting the team, players and coaches on the corresponding network.
Fox Sports Florida HD is a high definition simulcast of Fox Sports Florida, which broadcasts in the 720p format. The simulcast feed broadcasts most games from the professional teams and conferences to which the channel holds the regional broadcast rights, as well as programs broadcast nationally by FSN in HD.
For its first 21 years of existence, the channel was not available to most cable subscribers in the Orlando area, as Bright House Networks, the largest cable system in central Florida, refused to carry the channel. The conflict stemmed from the system's previous existence as Cablevision (a brand unaffiliated with the Bethpage, New York-based cable provider of the same name), and continued through its acquisition by Time Warner Cable and, later, Bright House. This issue did not change following Fox Sports' acquisition of Sun Sports, now known as Fox Sports Sun, which Bright House already carried on its Orlando area lineup, and continued even after the Orlando Magic moved half of the televised games in its schedule from MyNetworkTV owned-and-operated station WRBW (channel 65) to Fox Sports Florida in 2007.
Fox Sports Net's sister subsidiary Fox Television Stations had earlier purchased WRBW (then a UPN affiliate) in Orlando in 2001, followed by its purchase of Fox affiliate WOFL (channel 35) in 2002. On paper, this gave News Corporation – the corporate parent of the Fox Sports Networks at the time – the right to require Bright House to carry Fox Sports Florida as part of its retransmission consent compensation agreement for carriage of WOFL and WRBW, but Fox chose not to exercise that right. Bright House would agree to carry Fox Sports Florida on its Orlando system, with the channel being added on digital cable channel 50 on January 1, 2009. News Corporation and Bright House reached a new retransmission agreement on January 1, 2010, preventing both Fox Sports Florida and Sun Sports from being dropped from the provider's central Florida system.
Fox Sports Florida was also not available on Comcast systems in the Sarasota and Tallahassee markets until 2006, and remains unavailable on Comcast's Lake County systems. Orlando Magic games aired on the channel are blacked out by Comcast in the Jacksonville market.
The 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Tournament was held at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, NC from May 25 through May 29. All of the games were shown live on Fox Sports South with select games being shown on Fox Sports Florida, Comcast Mid-Atlantic, Sun Sports, and New England Sports Network. Top seeded Virginia won the tournament and earned the Atlantic Coast Conference's automatic bid to the 2011 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament. It was Virginia's third ACC tournament win and second in three years.
2011 was the fifth year in which the conference used a round-robin tournament format, with the team with the best record in each group at the end of the three-game round robin advancing to a one-game championship.2012 Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Tournament
The 2012 Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Tournament was held at the NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro, NC from May 23 through May 27. All of the games were shown live on Fox Sports South with select games being shown on Fox Sports Florida, Comcast Mid-Atlantic, Sun Sports, and New England Sports Network. Eighth seeded Georgia Tech won the tournament and earned the Atlantic Coast Conference's automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament. It was Georgia Tech's eighth ACC tournament win. This was the first time in which an eighth seeded team won the tournament.Al Leiter
Alois Terry Leiter (; born October 23, 1965) is a former Major League Baseball (MLB) left-handed starting pitcher. Leiter pitched 19 seasons in the Major Leagues for New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, Florida Marlins, and New York Mets. He is now a studio analyst for MLB Network and a color commentator for the YES Network and 2016 Marlins Fox Sports Florida game analyst.Florida Panthers
The Florida Panthers are a professional ice hockey team based in the Miami metropolitan area. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The team's local broadcasting rights has been held by Fox Sports Florida (formerly SportsChannel Florida) since 1996. The team initially played their home games at Miami Arena, before moving to the BB&T Center in 1998. Located in Sunrise, Florida, the Panthers are the southernmost team in the NHL.
The Panthers began playing in the 1993–94 NHL season. The team has made one appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals, in 1996, the only season in which the Panthers have ever won a playoff series, eventually losing the Finals to the Colorado Avalanche. The team advanced to the Stanley Cup playoffs for the second time in 12 years in 2012, but were eliminated in seven games in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals by the New Jersey Devils, who eventually won the Eastern Conference championship that season.The club is affiliated with one minor league team, the Springfield Thunderbirds of the American Hockey League.Fox College Sports
Fox College Sports is a group of three United States digital cable networks, FCS Atlantic, FCS Central, and FCS Pacific owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, that specialize primarily in showing collegiate programming, live events, coaches shows & various DI, DII, & DIII content surrounding college athletics. The channels show a wide array of all collegiate sports licensed by the NCAA as well as club sports. FCS also produces a number of exclusive original programs.Fox Sports Ohio
Fox Sports Ohio is an American regional sports network that is owned by The Walt Disney Company, and operates as an affiliate of Fox Sports Networks, with a sale to Sinclair Broadcast Group pending. The channel broadcasts regional coverage of sports events in the state of Ohio, with a focus on professional sports teams based in Cleveland and Cincinnati, which are broadcast on separate programming feeds, as well as Columbus.
Fox Sports Ohio is available on cable providers throughout Ohio, as well as parts of Indiana, Kentucky, northwestern Pennsylvania, border communities of West Virginia, and extreme southwestern New York; it is also available nationwide on satellite via DirecTV and Dish Network.Fox Sports Sun
Fox Sports Sun, formerly Sun Sports and originally Sunshine Network, is an American regional sports network that is owned by The Walt Disney Company, and operates as an affiliate of Fox Sports Networks. The channel broadcasts local coverage of professional, collegiate and sporting events in the state of Florida, with a focus on professional sports teams based in Miami, Tampa and Orlando. Fox Sports Sun and sister regional sports network Fox Sports Florida are headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Fox Sports Sun is available on cable providers throughout Florida; it is also available nationwide on satellite via DirecTV and Dish Network.
On December 14, 2017, as part of a merger between both companies, The Walt Disney Company announced plans to acquire all 22 regional Fox Sports Networks from 21st Century Fox, including Fox Sports Sun and sister network Fox Sports Florida. However, on June 27, 2018, the Justice Department ordered their divestment under antitrust grounds, citing Disney's ownership of ESPN. On May 3, 2019, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Entertainment Studios (through their joint venture, Diamond Holdings) bought Fox Sports Networks from The Walt Disney Company for $10.6 billion. The deal is subject to regulatory approval.J. P. Arencibia
Jonathan Paul "J. P." Arencibia (born January 5, 1986) is a Cuban-American former professional baseball catcher. He is currently a studio analyst for Fox Sports Florida. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Toronto Blue Jays, Texas Rangers, and Tampa Bay Rays from 2010 through 2015.Jason Jackson
Jason Jackson (born May 12, 1972) is an American sportscaster and writer. He worked for ESPN from 1995 until 2002, best known as the host of NBA 2Night. Jason is currently the TV Host/Courtside Reporter for the Miami Heat on FOX Sports Florida/Sun Sports and is a talk show co-host/analyst on SiriusXM NBA Radio.
In 2003, he hosted his own sports talk radio show in Hartford, Connecticut, called The Jax Show, and in September 2007, he returned to hosting The Jax Show weekday afternoons on WQAM in Miami. He currently works as a broadcaster for the Miami Heat. From January through October 2012, The Jax Show reappeared in the afternoons from 1-3 PM on the Miami Heat's flagship station WAXY.
Kelly Dwyer of SI.com wrote in his 2006 "NBA Announcers Report Card" that Jason Jackson might be the best side-line reporter in the business.
Jackson graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1994, where he had served as a resident advisor at Bromfield Hall and as President of the Undergraduate Student Government.Laura Rutledge
Laura Rutledge (née McKeeman; born October 2, 1988) is a reporter and host for CNN International, ESPN, and the SEC Network. She is an American beauty pageant titleholder from St. Petersburg, Florida, who was named Miss Florida 2012.Lisa Leslie
Lisa Deshaun Leslie (born July 7, 1972) is the Head Coach for Triplets in the BIG3 professional basketball league, as well as a studio analyst for Orlando Magic broadcasts on Fox Sports Florida. Leslie is a former American professional basketball player who played in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). She is a three-time WNBA MVP and a four-time Olympic gold medal winner. The number-seven pick in the 1997 inaugural WNBA draft, she followed her career at the University of Southern California with eight WNBA All-Star selections and two WNBA championships over the course of eleven seasons with the Los Angeles Sparks, before retiring in 2009. Leslie was the first player to dunk in a WNBA game. In 2011, she was voted in by fans as one of the Top 15 players in WNBA history. In 2015, she was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Leslie was named coach of Ice Cube's BIG3 expansion team Triplets on January 10, 2019.List of Orlando Magic broadcasters
Matches played by the American basketball team Orlando Magic have been broadcast since its founding in 1989. Radio commentaries have been broadcast on the WDBO channel, and matches have been televised on Fox Sports Florida and its predecessors. The teams of commentators include a play-by-play commentator, a color commentator, a courtside reporter, and a studio host.Marlins Television Network
From 1993 to 2005, the Marlins Television Network aired games to homes not only in South Florida but to other parts of Florida. The network was produced by the same crew that telecast Marlins games on cable television. When Fox Sports Florida signed an exclusive long-term deal for Marlins baseball starting in the 2006 season, that signaled the end of the Marlins Television Network as a majority of those telecasts would air on Sun Sports.Paul Severino
Paul Severino (born October 5, 1983) is an American sportscaster and studio host appearing across MLB Network's programming, including MLB Tonight, MLB Network's Emmy Award-winning daily studio show. Severino joined MLB Network in January 2011. He was hired to be the new TV play by play voice of the Miami Marlins for Fox Sports Florida in 2018.
In addition to his studio work, Severino has done play-by-play for many MLB Network game telecasts, including the Arizona Fall League, the Triple-A All-Star Game, the Under Armour All-American Game and the Urban Invitational.
Prior to MLB Network, Severino served as a host and anchor across ESPN's programming, including ESPNews and "SportsCenter" on ESPN America.
Severino also anchored ESPN3.com halftime shows for NBA and NCAA football games, hosted "Fantasy Focus" on ESPN.com, and served as a play-by-play announcer for Pop Warner Championships at Disney's Wide World of Sports in 2008 and 2009.
Severino is a native of Bristol, Connecticut, and graduated from Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts.Rich Waltz
Rich Waltz (born October 22, 1962) is an American television play-by-play commentator. A three time Emmy winner, Waltz is best known for calling television broadcasts for the Miami Marlins of Major League Baseball from 2005 to 2017. In November 2017, Waltz's dismissal by Fox Sports Florida and the Marlins was criticized by fans and media. As of 2018, Waltz calls baseball on MLB Network and College Football and Basketball for CBS Sports Network, CBS Sports, FS1, Fox Sports, and Turner Sports.Steve Goldstein (broadcaster)
Steve Goldstein is the television Play By Play broadcaster for the Florida Panthers on Fox Sports Florida.Steve Tello
Stephen J. Tello (born 18 May 1950 in Boston, Massachusetts), known as Steve Tello, is a television executive with over 3 decades of experience working in television news and sports. He currently (2009) holds the position of Senior Vice President and General Manager of FOX Sports Florida, a unit of the Fox Entertainment Group.
Tello is based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and oversees the Fox Sports Cable group's Sun Sports and Fox Sports Florida. The Florida network has offices in Orlando and Tampa. Prior to this Florida assignment, Tello held the same title in Houston, Texas, for Fox Sports' FSHouston operation, which produces the Astros and Rockets games to 4.2 million viewers.
Tello grew up in Miami and has lived in 11 cities during his career including Atlanta, Washington DC, New York City, London, and Los Angeles. He has traveled extensively on many projects over the course of his sojourn.Whit Watson
Whit Watson (born 1971 in Winter Park, FL) is an American sportscaster. He currently works for Golf Channel, hired in August 2010. At Golf Channel, Watson is primarily assigned to Golf Central as a studio anchor, but also reports from the field at PGA Tour events, LPGA Tour events, and USGA events. He has also appeared on Golf Channel's Morning Drive program, and has acted as a play-by-play announcer for Golf Channel's European Tour coverage.