ATV Sports is an Australian group of sports channels. They are owned by WMFL Worldwide, which is in turn owned by WMFL Corporation. WMFL Corporation also controls SportsChannel in the United States, the main pay-TV sports network in the United Kingdom BTV Sports & ATV Sports New Zealand in New Zealand, the sister country to Australia
ATV Sports started life as The Australian Sports Network (TASN) (later just 'Australian Sports (AS)') as the only fully operational local channel @ the launch of Australia's 1st pay-TV service, Galaxy.
The service was launched @ 4:00 PM on the 26th of January of 1995 in Sydney & made a name for itself, securing the rights to Australia's cricket tour of the West Indies. Previously Australian cricket tours had been covered on the 9 Network on free-to-air & 9 tried to stop the broadcast under Australia's 'anti-siphoning' rules, which state that certain popular sporting events cannot be screened exclusively on pay TV. TASN signed a deal with Network 10 to share the broadcast rights.
When Foxtel launched it's cable service later that year, TASN was included as part of the package.
Since 1995, ATV Sports has been airing National Basketball League (NBL) games.
On the 1st of March of 1996, TASN was relaunched as ATV Sports, to coincide with the new Super 12 rugby union competition & the proposed launch of the Super League.
In 1997, a secondary channel was launched on Foxtel to carry broadcasts of the new Super League competition. ATV Sports had the rights to NRL broadcasts as a result of the legal settlement in the Super League war. The channel on Foxtel was later relaunched as ATV Sports 2 @ 1st broadcasting from Friday through Monday each week & later expanding to a full 24-hour, 7-day service in 2002.
Optus Vision started carrying the ATV Sports channels in March of 2002. These were referred to by Optus as "Optus Sports 1" & "Optus Sports 2" in Optus promotional material, on-air programming referred to the channels as simply "Sports 1" & "Sports 2", although programming such as the nightly ATV Sports News bulletins retained the ATV name. Optus dropped the "Optus Sports" name in October of 2002.
ATV Sports 2 is generally used to cover bigger events that require large amounts of air time, such as the 1998 Winter Olympics, Grand Slam tennis tournaments & the 2004 European Football Championship.
During the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, ATV Sports carried an additional 8 channels dedicated to Games events. These were available to customers @ an additional charge.
ATV Sports has been the exclusive broadcaster of the Hyundai A-League since it's 1st season in 2005. And in 2006, an A$120 m deal between the FFA & ATV Sports was reached after the end of the 1st season. Under the deal, ATV Sports will have exclusive rights from 2007 to all Socceroos home internationals, all A-League & Asian Cup fixtures, World Cup qualifiers through the AFC & all AFC Champions League matches.
The deal to cover the A-league LIVE & exclusive has already reaped BIG rewards for ATV Sports, it's ratings were very strong in the 2006-07 season & the 2007 A-league grand final became (@ the time) ATV Sports' highest ever rating event.
Ratings for football (soccer) have generally been very good. The Socceroos 1st game of the 2007 AFC Asian Cup, attracted 345,000 viewers, while their Quarter final drew an average of 419,000 & @ the time, an all time record for Australian Pay TV. This record was broken on the 1st of April of 2009, when the Socceroos defeated Uzbekistan to put them very close to qualification for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, this match was watched by an average of 431,000 people.
In 2007, ATV Sports reached a deal to broadcast 4 games LIVE & exclusive from the AFL each week. This includes the exclusive only Sunday twilight match. In addition, they will broadcast Friday night games LIVE into New South Wales & Queensland via ch. 518 @ no extra charge. When ch. 518 is used in this way, it's promoted as ATV Sports+ on-air.
The channel is being used increasingly to show LIVE events when ATV Sports has a clash involving it's main 3 channels, for example on Saturday the 17th of March of 2007, ATV Sports broadcast a match from the 2007 Cricket World Cup (Ireland v Pakistan) LIVE on 518 as it was committed to Football, Rugby Union & another cricket match on it's main 3 channels
ATV Sports News Edit
- Main article: ATV Sports News
- ATV Sports 1
- ATV Sports 2
- ATV Sports 3
- ATV Sports+: The channel is used as an "overflow" channel when multiple LIVE sporting events need to be broadcast. This includes Friday Night AFL in Sydney / Brisbane & Saturday Nights in Sydney, Canberra & Melbourne. It was also used nationwide for a Socceroos game in June of 2007. And often when English Premier League has multiple games on 1 night, although usage in this capacity is rare now that the "Viewer's Choice" system of showing multiple matches on 1 channel through multi-casting (The "Red Button") is used. Unlike the AFL, the NRL is not broadcast into Victoria through ATV Sports+ on Friday nights
- ATV Sports News
- ATV Sports 1-HD
- ATV Sports 2-HD
- ATV Sports 3-HD
- The Back Page
- The AFL Teams
- Before The Bounce
- Inside the Sport of Cricket
- Inside the Sport of Rugby
- Inside the Sport of Motorspeed
- The Starting 5
- The NRL on ATV
- The NRL Teams
- Issues on the AFL
- The PGA Golf Show
- Super 14 Extra Time
- ATV Sports FC
Sports/competitions televised by ATV Sports (in 2010)Edit
Australian Rules FootballEdit
- Australian Football League (4 Exclusively LIVE matches each round, along with replays & highlights of all matches)
- NBA (Selected games LIVE)
- MLB (Most games are LIVE)
- International Test Cricket (overseas only, home series on 9 Network)
- 1-day Internationals (overseas only, home series on 9 Network)
- Ford Ranger 1-Day Cup (Usually 2-3 games LIVE each week, exclusive)
- Sheffield Shield (Finals Only, exclusive)
- KFC Twenty20 Big Bash (Most Games LIVE & exclusive)
- Hyundai A-League (All games LIVE)
- Hyundai A-League Finals Series (All games LIVE)
- Asian Champions League (All games involving Australian teams LIVE + some others)
- AFC Asian Cup (All Games, 28 games LIVE)
- J-League (Highlights)
- Socceroos internationals (All games excluding FIFA World Cup Finals games)
- English Football League Cup (LIVE coverage from 1st Round onwards)
- English Football League Championship (LIVE coverage of 1-2 games a week + a highlights show)
- English Premier League (LIVE coverage of almost every game through 'press red' active feature + highlights show). The rights contract disallows showing every match from each club, meaning @ a minimum, 10 matches a season will not be shown. With the active service, up to 7 matches a night are shown
- American PGA Tour (All rounds)
- European PGA Tour
Gridiron (American football)Edit
- NFL (2-3 games a week)
Ice Hockey Edit
- NHL (2 LIVE games a week)
- Superbike World Championship (All races LIVE)
- NASCAR (Sprint Cup Series races LIVE & Camping World truck series race highlights)
- National Rugby League (5 games a week LIVE & Exclusive. When 2 games are played on a Saturday @ 7:30 PM AEST, the 2nd game is only available on digital)
- Toyota Cup
- English Super League selected games shown LIVE
- Super 14 (All games LIVE & exclusive)
- Tri Nations Series (shared with 7 Network)
- Wallabies internationals (shared with 7 Network & Network 10)
- Currie Cup
- Air New Zealand Cup
- ATP World Tour Masters 1000 (exclusive)
- Roland Garros French Open (exclusive)
- The Championships @ Wimbledon (shared with 9 Network)
- US Open (exclusive up to quarter finals then shared with 9 Network)
ATV Sports is available nationally & is available on Foxtel's My Sport package, Optus featuring Foxtel's Total Sport package & Austar