Hughes Television Network

HTN Communications, better known as Hughes Television Network (HTN) and formerly Sports Network, was an American television network created by Richard Eugene Bailey. The company is now in the business of providing video and audio services to sports networks.

It never lived up to its dream of being the nation's fourth television network, following the demise of the DuMont Television Network. HTN limited itself to broadcasting sports events, including the Stanley Cup Finals, PBA Bowling and special programming, including the Muppets special The Frog Prince,[1] and provided facilities links to a loose network of stations, who were usually independents or affiliates of ABC, CBS, or NBC.

In 2013, HTN Communications merged with The Switch.[2]

Hughes Television Network
Typeoccasional broadcast Television network
First air date
Key people
Joseph M. Cohen
EstablishedDecember 1955
Launch date
Former names
Sports Network


Sports Network Incorporated

Originally working as chief network coordinator at ABC in 1954, Richard Eugene Bailey conceived of a cost-effective means of broadcasting away Major League Baseball games to their home cities. The idea came from the BBDO advertising agency, who appealed to Bailey on behalf of advertisers, Schaefer Beer and Lucky Strike cigarettes, to save money on their broadcast of Brooklyn Dodgers games; Bailey came up with the concept of "streamlining transmission operations." This innovation for covering away games became the basis for the Sports Network.[3]

Bailey capitalized his company with $1,000.[4] In December 1956, Bailey met with sponsors, ad agencies and the baseball teams' representatives at Chicago's Hotel Knickerbocker to get SNI off the ground. In 1956, the first operational year, the network had 300 television and 1,200 radio broadcasts of major league baseball games.[3]

In the fall 1956, SNI started showing Cleveland Browns football games. In later years, they acquired rights to Big Ten and Atlantic Coast Conference basketball. SNI's coverage of the 1963 NCAA final, where Loyola University Chicago upset the University of Cincinnati, was a ratings smash, with a larger audience than CBS' hit westerns Have Gun – Will Travel and Gunsmoke.[3]

By the early sixties, the Browns (still on SNI) were the only NFL team not signed to a major TV network. At the insistence of new commissioner Pete Rozelle, the Browns dropped SNI when the entire league signed a collective television contract with CBS in 1962.

Hughes Television Network

After Howard Hughes failed to purchase a controlling interest in ABC in 1968, Hughes' Hughes Tool Company purchased the Sports Network and was renamed the Hughes Television Network, with Dick Bailey continuing as president.[4][5] On a staggered schedule in May 1971, The Frog Prince was shown on HTN with 150 stations including WCBS-TV and sponsored by RJR Foods.[1] Paramount Pictures purchased the Network including its satellite time in planning for Paramount Programming Service in 1976.[6][7] Paramount sold HTN to Madison Square Garden in 1979. In 1986, Joseph M. Cohen, a Madison Square Garden executive, led an investment group in purchasing HTN from Madison Square Garden. IDB Communications purchased the company in 1989.[8]

In March, 1991, HTN purchased fiber optic transmission services from Vyvx NVN to supplement its existing satellite network.[9] In 1995, HTN was purchased by Globecast.[8]

In 2003, Cohen acquired the Network again.[8]


As Sports Network, the Network broadcast on a network basis sports programming in the following sports: auto racing, baseball, basketball (pro and college), bowling, boxing, dog shows, football (pro and college), frostbite sailing, golf, gymnastics, horse racing, iceboating, ice hockey, jai alai, lacrosse, polo, skiing, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and wrestling.

SNI pick up rights for:

Monday Night Football

According to the book Monday Night Mayhem (Reed Business Information, 1988), the National Football League received a bid from HTN for broadcast rights to Monday Night Football; this, while negotiations with ABC were nearing a standoff. HTN was reportedly offering a significantly higher price than any other network, including ABC. Reportedly, had Hughes made the deal, half of ABC's affiliates would have carried the HTN football games anyway, including at least one ABC owned-and-operated station. Ultimately, the league agreed that it would be in the NFL's best interests to sign with an established network, eventually striking a deal with ABC for a lower amount than Hughes was offering.

Cleveland Browns broadcasters

See also


  1. ^ a b Esty, William (May 19, 1971). "Television Reviews: The Frog Prince". Variety. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  2. ^ "The Switch and HTN Communications, LLC Join Forces". March 25, 2013. Retrieved 16 Apr 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d Brown, Gwilym S. (November 8, 1965). "The Maitre D' Of Sports Tv". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Scorecard". Sports Illustrated. September 16, 1968. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  5. ^ "Hughes buys TV Network". The Milwaukee Journal. UPI. September 7, 1968. p. 18. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  6. ^ Nadel, Gerry (1977-05-30). "Who Owns Prime Time? The Threat of the 'Occasional' Networks". New York Magazine. New York: 34–35. Retrieved 2009-10-04.
  7. ^ "Hughes TV Network Sold". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. December 27, 1976. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  8. ^ a b c "Cohen Buys Hughes TV Network for 3rd Time". AP Online. June 9, 2003. Archived from the original on January 17, 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  9. ^ "Hughes Television Network. (contract)". Satellite News. March 11, 1991. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2012.

External links

History of the National Hockey League on United States television

The National Hockey League has never fared as well on American television in comparison to the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, or the National Football League, although that has begun to change, with NBC's broadcasts of the final games of the 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2013 Stanley Cup Finals scoring some of the best ratings ever enjoyed by the sport on American television.

In fact, hockey broadcasting on a national scale was spotty prior to 1981; NBC and CBS held rights at various times, each network carrying weekend-afternoon games during the second half of the regular season and the playoffs, along with some (but not all) of the Stanley Cup Finals. From 1971–1995, there was no exclusive coverage of games in the United States.

Meanwhile, individual teams have long contracted to air their games on local channels, primarily on regional sports networks and in a few cases on broadcast channels as well.


KLAS-TV, virtual channel 8 (VHF digital channel 7), is a CBS-affiliated television station licensed to Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. The station is owned by Nexstar Media Group. KLAS-TV's studios are located at 3228 Channel 8 Drive near the northern portion of the Las Vegas Strip in the unincorporated community of Winchester (though with a Las Vegas mailing address), and its transmitter is located on Mount Arden in Henderson.

List of American Stanley Cup Finals television announcers

This is a list of American Stanley Cup Finals television announcers.

List of Cleveland Browns broadcasters

As of 2013, The Browns flagship radio stations are WKNR AM 850, WKRK-FM 92.3, and WNCX FM 98.5. Games are covered on-site by play-by-play announcer Jim Donovan and color commentator Doug Dieken, a former Browns offensive tackle.WEWS channel 5 is the preseason TV home of the Browns, with former ESPN sportscaster Jay Crawford (play by play), 1999 #1 overall draft pick Tim Couch (color commentary), and (now former) WEWS sports director/WKRK midday host Andy Baskin (pregame/halftime host; sideline reporter) comprising the broadcast team.

List of Fiesta Bowl broadcasters

Television network, play-by-play and color commentator(s) for the Fiesta Bowl. The Fiesta Bowl began in 1971, but was considered a “minor bowl” until the January 1, 1982 game between Penn State–USC. Since then, the Fiesta Bowl has been considered a major bowl.

Starting with the 2010-11 season, ESPN started airing the games, out bidding Fox for the rights to the games.

List of NBA All-Star Game broadcasters

The following is a list of American television and radio networks and announcers that have nationally broadcast the NBA All-Star Games throughout the years.

List of NBA Finals broadcasters

The following is a list of the television and radio networks and announcers that have broadcast NBA Finals games over the years.

List of NHL All-Star Game broadcasters

The following is a list of the television networks (American, Canadian and French Canadian) and announcers that have broadcast the National Hockey League All-Star Game over the years.

List of Ryder Cup broadcasters

The Ryder Cup matches were always covered by the BBC, whether in Britain or in the United States, even prior to the British team's merger with Europe. In the 1990s, Sky Sports became heavily involved in the Ryder Cup, and has since taken over live coverage, including creating a channel specifically dedicated for the 2014 and 2016 competition. The BBC still screens edited highlights each night.


The NBA on SNI refers to National Basketball Association television coverage on the now defunct television network known as Sports Network Incorporated (later known as the Hughes Television Network). Coverage began in the 1962-63 season (after the NBA's deal with NBC ended) and lasted through the 1963-64 season (when the NBA entered an agreement with ABC).

NHL Network (1975 TV program)

The NHL Network is an American television syndication package that broadcast National Hockey League games from the 1975–76 through 1978–79 seasons. The NHL Network was distributed by the Hughes Television Network.

NHL on Hughes

NHL on Hughes is the de facto name of a TV program that broadcast National Hockey League games on the defunct independent Hughes Television Network during the 1979–80 season. The program aired under the title The NHL '80. Hughes broadcast Thursday night games, the All-Star Game, some playoff games, and Games 1-5 of the Stanley Cup Finals (the final game, Game 6, was broadcast by CBS). Hughes technically, used CBC's Hockey Night in Canada feeds for the American coverage of the first five games of the Stanley Cup Finals. The first broadcast involved the Atlanta Flames against the Chicago Blackhawks on January 25.

Paramount Television Service

The Paramount Television Service (or PTVS for short and also known as Paramount Programming Service) was the name of a proposed but ultimately unrealized "fourth television network" from the U.S. film studio Paramount Pictures (then a unit of Gulf+Western, now owned by Viacom). It was a forerunner of the later UPN (the United Paramount Network), which launched 17 years later.

Robert D. Hales

Robert Dean Hales (August 24, 1932 – October 1, 2017) was an American businessman and member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 1994 until his death. As a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, Hales was accepted by the church as a prophet, seer, and revelator. At the time of his passing he was the fifth most senior apostle in the church.

Sports Network

Generically speaking, a sports network broadcasts sporting events, sports news and other related programming

Sports Network may also refer to:

The Sports Network (TSN), the Canadian sports cable channel

All Sports Network, the former name of Sports Illustrated Television in Asia

Eleven Sports Network, the multinational group of sports television channelsIn the United States:

Sports Network, the former name of the now-defunct Hughes Television Network in the United States

The Sports Network (wire service), the former American sports wire service

CBS Sports Network

Fox Sports Networks

Eleven Sports Network (United States)

Stanley Cup Finals television ratings

The following is an overview of the television ratings for the National Hockey League (NHL)'s Stanley Cup Finals in both the United States and Canada.

Tennis on Hughes

Tennis on Hughes was the de facto name of a series of syndicated professional tennis telecasts, produced by the Hughes Television Network. The telecasts were sold to commercial stations on an individual market basis by Taft Broadcasting.

In 1978, Hughes televised eight tournaments, all slotted for 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and 5 to 7 p.m. on Sundays (all Eastern time). The announcers for these broadcasts were Bud Collins and Donald Dell.

The tournaments were the following:

Australian Open

Canadian Open

French Open

Italian Open

US Open

U.S. Pro Championships

Washington Star International

The Frog Prince (Muppets)

For other works sharing the title, see The Frog Prince (disambiguation).The Frog Prince (released on home video as Tales from Muppetland: The Frog Prince) is a 1971 American/Canadian musical fantasy comedy television special directed by Jim Henson, and jointly produced by Robert Lawrence Productions and Henson Associates. It is a retelling of the classic fairy tale of The Frog Prince featuring Kermit the Frog as the narrator, Kermit's nephew Robin as the Frog Prince, Sir Robin the Brave, and Sweetums, among others. This special marked the debut of both Robin and Sweetums to the world of The Muppets.

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