Mizlou Television Network

Mizlou Television Network, Inc. or Mizlou Communications, Inc.,[1] is a former sports broadcast television network. It was active from 1962 to 1991, and in 1992 it was re-established as Mizlou Television Network, Inc., which is now based in Tampa, Florida. Mizlou later branched out into cable sports channels.[1]

Mizlou Television Network,Inc.
TypeBroadcast television network,
Cable and Internet broadcast.
HeadquartersTampa, Florida
Broadcast area
World Wide


The network was not a full-time network, but produced sports and entertainment television shows offered to a set of affiliates set up event by event. It was seen on affiliates of NBC, ABC, and CBS, and on independent television stations and cable channels.[2]

Mizlou utilized the AT&T system to distribute signals to television stations nationwide via land lines and microwave facilities. Mizlou produced the first "live" coast-to-coast satellite feed, of a New York Cosmos soccer game, from San Jose, California to WOR-TV in New York in the late 1970s.


Unisphere Broadcasting System

In mid-1965, radio businessman Vincent C. Piano proposed the Unisphere Broadcasting System. The service would have operated 2.5 hours each night. However, Piano had difficulty signing affiliates; a year later, no launch date had been set, and the network still lacked a "respectable number of affiliates in major markets."[3]

Mizlou TV Network

Mizlou began syndicating college football bowls in 1968.[1]

Maryland sold Mizlou rights to two of its Atlantic Coast Conference men's basketball games along with the women's basketball Maryland versus Immaculata game on January 26, 1975. This was the first national broadcast of a women’s college basketball game with 100+ stations signing on to the telecast.[4]

Mizlou broadcast the first three Fiesta Bowl starting in 1971 and lost money on the first broadcast.[5] In 1979, the Network broadcast the Miss Black Universe USA and International beauty pageants.[6] The network carried the 1975 Blue-Gray Football Classic, angering the all-star game's committee by convincing the game clock operator to cut three minutes off the clock in the first quarter.[7]

Mizlou was hired by U.S. Tobacco to broadcast the College National Final Rodeo in 1981.[8] In 1985, Mizlou decided not to renew the Holiday Bowl broadcast contract.[9] In 1986, the network signed a three-year deal with the Freedom Bowl adding them to their bowl line up of Bluebonnet, Cherry, Independence and Hall of Fame Bowls for that year.[2]

In August 1989, Mizlou Communications announced the November launch of Sports News Network, a 24-hour sports news and interview basic channel.[1] Mizlou in February 1990 made a private placement of securities to keep SNN going. Mizlou made another attempt before July 1990 and attempted a third placement of $15–$20 million in July 1990 for the network.[10] SNN went dark on December 17, 1990 as parent Mizlou Communications filed for bankruptcy. Mizlou was in talks with Landmark Communications and Telecable Corporation as a potential buyer of the channel and other assets.[11][12] In January 1991, Landmark dropped plans for a sport news channel and its discussions with Mizlou for the purchases of Sports News Network[13] due to Tele-Communications Inc.'s planned launch of Prime Sports News, an all-sports news cable channel.[14]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Nidetz, Steve (August 25, 1989). "Mizlou To Offer 24-hour Sports News". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
  2. ^ a b Penner, Mike (April 24, 1986). "Freedom Bowl Announces 3-Year Deal With Mizlou". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
  3. ^ Kellner, C.A. (Spring 1969). "The Rise and Fall of the Overmyer Network". Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media. 13 (2): 125–130. doi:10.1080/08838156909386290. Retrieved 2010-03-31.
  4. ^ Ginsburg, David (January 25, 2005). "Women's basketball a hard sell in 1975". Salon. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
  5. ^ Ruelas, Richard (July 22, 2011). "How the Fiesta Bowl made its way to TV". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
  6. ^ "Miss Black Universe Pageant Gets National TV Coverage". Jet. Johnson Publishing Company. 55 (16): 59. January 4, 1979. ISSN 0021-5996. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
  7. ^ Barefield, Ron (December 24, 1975). "B-G to Control Future Clock". Montgomery Advertiser. Montgomery, Alabama. Retrieved June 1, 2017 – via newspapers.com.
  8. ^ Mahoney, Sylvia Gann (2004). College Rodeo: From Show to Sport. Texas A&M University Press. p. 135. ISBN 9781585443314.
  9. ^ Dolan, Steve (May 4, 1985). "Mizlou TV Network Won't Renew Contract With the Holiday Bowl". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
  10. ^ Higgins, John M. (July 16, 1990). "Mizlou running out of cash for SNN". Multichannel News. Archived from the original on March 27, 2014. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
  11. ^ Higgins, John M.; Umstead, R. Thomas (December 24, 1990). "SNN goes dark, Mizlou to file for Ch. 11". Multichannel News. Archived from the original on March 27, 2014. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
  12. ^ "Talks on Cable Deal End". New York Times. AP. January 28, 1991. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
  13. ^ Higgins, John (January 28, 1991). "Landmark spikes its plans for Sports News Network". Multichannel News. Archived from the original on March 27, 2014. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
  14. ^ Pierce, Scott D. (February 13, 1991). "ALL-SPORTS NEWS NETWORK COMING, AND CNN, TBS LEAD CABLE RATINGS". Deseret News. Retrieved 28 August 2012.

External links

1977 Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl

The 1977 Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl was an American college football bowl game played on December 31, 1977 at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas. The game pitted the Texas A&M Aggies and the USC Trojans.

1979 Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl

The 1979 Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl was a college football postseason game between the Purdue Boilermakers and the Tennessee Volunteers.

1979 Garden State Bowl

The 1979 Garden State Bowl, played on December 15, 1979, was the second edition of the Garden State Bowl. The game featured the California Golden Bears, who played in their first bowl since the 1959 Rose Bowl, and the Temple Owls, who made their first bowl appearance since the 1935 Sugar Bowl. 55,493 tickets were sold but only 40,207 fans showed on a cold 29°-day in the Meadowlands to see the Owls beat the Golden Bears, 28–17. The game was nationally televised on the Mizlou Television Network.

1981 Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl

The 1981 Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl was a college football bowl game, played on December 31, 1981. It was the 23rd Bluebonnet Bowl game. The Michigan Wolverines defeated the UCLA Bruins by a score of 33–14. This was the first bowl game meeting of a Big Ten team and a Pac-10 team outside the Rose Bowl Game and was labeled the "mini Rose Bowl". Both teams were in the running to meet in the 1982 Rose Bowl, but had their seasons spoiled on November 21, 1981, by their arch-rivals.

1981 Garden State Bowl

The 1981 Garden State Bowl, part of the 1981 bowl game season, took place on December 13, 1981, at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The competing teams were the Tennessee Volunteers, representing the Southeastern Conference (SEC), and the Wisconsin Badgers, representing the Big Ten Conference (Big 10). In what was the final edition of the game, Tennessee won 28–21.

1986 Freedom Bowl

The 1986 Freedom Bowl was a college football bowl game played on December 30, 1986. It was the third Freedom Bowl Game. The UCLA Bruins defeated the BYU Cougars 31–10. UCLA tailback Gaston Green was named the Player Of The Game. He ran for a record 266 yards, second only at the time to Curtis Dickey who ran for 276 in the 1978 Hall of Fame Classic. This is still the Pac-10 record for most rushing yards in a bowl game, and fourth highest in NCAA bowl history.

1987 Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl

The 1987 Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl was a college football postseason bowl game between the Texas Longhorns and the Pittsburgh Panthers. This was the final Bluebonnet/Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl.

1987 Freedom Bowl

The 1987 Freedom Bowl was a college football postseason bowl game between the Arizona State Sun Devils and the Air Force Falcons.

George Crumbley

George Crumbley (1923 – September 15, 2009) was the founder of the Peach Bowl, now the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

Crumbley was without national television for the initial Peach Bowl, held in 1968. After being rebuffed by ABC, NBC, and CBS, he turned to Vic Piano, founder of the Mizlou Television Network, then a fledgling independent TV network. Mizlou televised the game as its first major sporting event and eventually became the leading independent TV network in the 1970s and 1980s.

Crumbley headed the Peach Bowl for 18 years.

Howard David

Howard David is an American sportscaster.

List of Citrus Bowl broadcasters

The following is a list of the television networks and announcers who have broadcast college football's Citrus Bowl throughout the years.

ABC televised the game from 1987 to 2010, with NBC airing it in 1984–85 and the syndicated Mizlou Television Network doing so prior to 1984. In March 2010, ESPN announced extensions to their television contracts with the Capital One Bowl and the Outback Bowl, along with a new contract with the Gator Bowl. The contract for the now Citrus Bowl is through 2018. Under these new agreements, ESPN will broadcast all three games on either ABC, ESPN, or ESPN2.

Radio broadcast rights for the game are currently held by ESPN Radio. Sports USA Radio held the rights from 2003–2010.

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 Independence Bowl broadcasters

This is a list of Independence Bowl broadcasters. The Independence Bowl is a post-season NCAA-sanctioned Division I college football bowl game that is played annually at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana.

List of Peach Bowl broadcasters

The following is a list of the television networks and announcers who have broadcast college football's Peach Bowl throughout the years.

From 2006 to 2013, for sponsorship reasons, the game was known as the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

Lorimar Sports Network

The Lorimar Sports Network, or LSN, was an American ad hoc television network providing syndicated college football and basketball. It was based at Lorimar's original headquarters in Culver City, California, with an additional office in Dallas, Texas. It was in operation from 1983 until 1986.

NASCAR on television and radio

The television and radio rights to broadcast NASCAR on television and radio are one of the most expensive rights of any American sport, with the current television contract with Fox Sports and NBC Sports being worth around US$8 billion.

In the early days of the sport, sports programs like CBS Sports Spectacular and ABC Wide World of Sports would air video highlight packages of NASCAR races. These packages were typically 15 to 30 minutes long that were cut from film of the entire race. This is similar to video packages created by NFL Films. For major races, like the Daytona 500, ABC Sports would show it live for a certain number of laps at the beginning and come back to it to show the end of the race. There had been a few races shown in their entirety in the 1970s, but these were always recorded and shown days or weeks later.

In 1979, CBS Sports televised the entire 1979 Daytona 500 live from start to finish. When ESPN came along in 1981, more races began being shown live in their entirety. Since 1992, all NASCAR races have been shown from start to finish, and all have been shown live since 1997. Until 2001, race tracks struck individual agreements with networks to broadcast races, but NASCAR wanted to capitalize on the growing popularity of the sport and announced in 1999 that television contracts would now be centralized; that is, instead of making agreements with individual tracks, networks would now negotiate directly with NASCAR for the rights to air a package of races.

Phil Parsons

Phillip Parsons (born June 21, 1957, in Detroit, Michigan), is an American former professional stock car racing driver, team owner, and current announcer for FOX NASCAR. He is also the younger brother of the late 1973 Winston Cup champion and former NBC/TNT commentator Benny Parsons. After years racing in NASCAR Winston Cup, he returned to the Busch Series where he enjoyed modest success.

After his racing career, Parsons also embarked on a career as a racing TV commentator, providing color analysis for the Mizlou Television Network. He is now a commentator for FS1's coverage of the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series. He was also commentator for the DirecTV NASCAR Hot Pass during Sprint Cup races.

He was the starter waving the green flag for the 2007 Daytona 500. In 2008, he along with his wife Marcia became part owners of a new Nationwide Series team, MSRP Motorsports.

Rick Benjamin (announcer)

Rick Benjamin (born October 22, 1952 in Danbury, Connecticut) is Speed Channel's voice of the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series, and has been the voice of Champ Car racing for HDNet from 2004 until then end of the final season of Champ Car in 2007Benjamin was a local news reporter from 1976 until 1996, being a television anchorman and managing editor for markets as diverse as Knoxville, TN, (where his youngest son's birth was announced on-air) Quad-Cities, IA (where he won an exhibition harness race at The Quad City Downs), San Antonio, TX, Toledo, OH, Roanoke, VA, and was the news director for Waterbury, CT's WATR.

Benjamin also did work for Mizlou Television Network for their NASCAR coverage, and for SportsChannel in 1990 when they aired Busch Grand National races, using the pseudonym Ron Williams.

When The Nashville Network bought 50% of Ken Squier and Fred Rheinstein's World Sports Enterprises, and shifted production of TNN's popular RaceDay from Patterson International to the network's own in-house operation, located inside the industrial park of Lowe's Motor Speedway, Benjamin was named anchor of the network's RaceDay in 1995, anchoring the show until MTV shut down the entire CBS Charlotte operation in November 2000.

Benjamin is responsible for the "rebranding" of CART into Champ Cars, as during the CART-IRL dispute, Benjamin began using the term "Champ Car," an old term used in USAC during the Marlboro Championship Trail, to refer to the CART formula in 1997, on RaceDay after the rival Indy Racing League switched to a normally aspirated formula. The show used the term, which CART began using in 1998 after Federal Express took over sponsorship of the series from PPG Industries, and the new "Champ Car" term was a reference to the FedEx Championship Series. Since 2004, he has been the lead announcer for the series, which has gone out on Spike TV, CBS, NBC, Speed Channel & in 2007 returning to the networks of ESPN & ABC for the first time since 2001.

Benjamin was one of the very first on-air personalities at Speed when it was launched as SpeedVision in 1996. He is a former SpeedNews anchor.

Benjamin is also frequently a backup news anchor at Charlotte radio station WBT, where he has some duties with the Carolina Panthers pre and post game shows, and has used his experience in the news media to form Visioncast, where his group teaches drivers, crewmen, and corporate representatives to face the media.

Benjamin formerly co-hosted Tradin' Paint with Danny "Chocolate" Myers on Sirius Satellite Radio's NASCAR channel 90. He was succeeded by Jim Noble.

Benjamin also appeared in the movie Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, starring Will Ferrell.

Sports News Network

Sports News Network (SNN), sometimes referred to as Mizlou Sports News Network, was the first 24-hour sports news cable channels owned by Mizlou Communications.

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