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Mizlou Television Network

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Mizlou Television Network

Mizlou Television Network,Inc.
Type Broadcast television networkCable and Internet broadcast.
Country USA
Headquarters Tampa, Florida
Broadcast area
World Wide
Established 1962
Official website

Mizlou Television Network, Inc. or Mizlou Communications, Inc.,[1] was 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, FL. Mizlou later branched out into cable sports channels.[1]

Differences between Mizlou and "The Big Three"

The network was not a full-time network like NBC, ABC or CBS. Rather, it produced sports and entertainment television shows and offered it to an "ad hoc" set of affiliates set up on an event by event basis. It was seen on affiliates of all three networks, and independent television stations and cable channels as well.[2]

In an era long before satellite distribution of television signals, Mizlou utilized the AT&T system capable of distribution of signals to television stations on a nationwide basis in that era, via a nationwide system of land lines and microwave facilities. Mizlou produced the first "live" coast to coast satellite feed, a New York Cosmos soccer game from San Jose, CA to WOR-TV in New York in the late '70s.


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]

Mizlou was hired by U.S. Tobacco to broadcast the College National Final Rodeo in 1981.[7] In 1985, Mizlou decided not to renew the Holiday Bowl broadcast contract.[8] 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.[9] SNN goes 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.[10][11] In January 1991, Landmark dropped plans for a sport news channel and its discussions with Mizlou for the purchases of Sports News Network[12] due to Tele-Communications Inc.'s planned launch of Prime Sports News, a all sports news cable channel.[13]

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. 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.  
  7. ^ Mahoney, Sylvia Gann (2004). College Rodeo: From Show to Sport. Texas A&M University Press. p. 135. 
  8. ^ Dolan, Steve (May 4, 1985). "Mizlou TV Network Won't Renew Contract With the Holiday Bowl". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 August 2012. 
  9. ^  
  10. ^  
  11. ^ "Talks on Cable Deal End". New York Times. AP. January 28, 1991. Retrieved 28 August 2012. 
  12. ^  
  13. ^ Pierce, Scott D. (February 13, 1991). "ALL-SPORTS NEWS NETWORK COMING, AND CNN, TBS LEAD CABLE RATINGS". Deseret News. Retrieved 28 August 2012. 

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