After nine years of broadcasting local sports programming content on its own 24-hour channel — Buckeye Cable Sports Network — Buckeye CableSystem will debut its second local sports network in January.
BCSN 2 will begin its broadcast at 7 p.m. Jan. 7 on Buckeye CableSystem Channels 109 and 609 HD. The station will kick off with a live show that will preview the new station and will be televised prior to the St. Ursula Academy’s girls basketball game at home against Notre Dame Academy.
Like its original counterpart, BCSN 2 will show both live local sports programming and original content.
"We can do a much better job fulfilling BCSN's mission to bring more quality local sports programming to the community," said Allan Block, chairman of Block Communications Inc. "We're extremely proud of what BCSN has become and we're equally as proud of what BCSN 2 will become."
When BCSN debuted on Jan. 7, 2004, the network was unique in that it was a local entity solely centered around broadcasting local sports. BCSN currently broadcasts 24 hours of sports programming each day on cable and online at BCSN.tv.
Yet the inception of BCSN’s second channel emerged simply from a glut of programming. BCSN broadcasts high school events, local college sporting events, and live broadcasts of the Toledo Walleye and the Toledo Mud Hens, but viewers found that there would be an overlap in broadcasting and that some events would be filmed and produced, but would not be broadcast until later in the day or at night. Covering three games takes up six hours of programming, and there were times that were not ideal to view tape-delayed broadcasts or rebroadcasts.
“The new station will have a combination of programming similar to BCSN, but it will help alleviate a log jam of programming, or could broadcast a game that could be shown in primetime,” said Veronica Pinciotti, general manager of local stations for Buckeye CableSystem.
“Not only will Buckeye subscribers be able to watch two live shows daily on BCSN, but they now will be able to watch two times the prime time with two more live shows on BCSN 2.” she said.
Pinciotti cited the popularity of high school football, which is typically played on Friday and Saturday nights, but broadcasts of games could bump against a broadcast of a Walleye home game or a Mud Hens home game. BCSN and the City League experimented this season with live Thursday night football games.
“If something came up that was outstanding, we were held back because we couldn’t broadcast that live,” Pinciotti said. “This gives us more flexibility and brings more live games to the viewer, in a more timely manner.
“We’ve seen a very successful formula with what we’re doing now. We’re not changing the formula.”
Block Communications Inc. is the parent company of The Blade, Buckeye CableSystem, and BCSN. BCSN also hosts free sports camps for middle school and junior high students, and contributes more than $40,000 annually to local students and teachers through the Student & Teacher of the Year programs. BCSN also supports area schools with program ads and donations.
Pinciotti said that the start of a second network will create more production jobs within BCSN, which is only broadcast on Buckeye CableSystem, which has more than 150,000 subscribers in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.
“We’re looking to add some original programming,” Pinciotti said. “Everything we put on BCSN is all generated by our group of people. It’s pretty amazing to keep a channel on for 24 hours and seven days a week with the people we keep on hand, and the production and talent crews have really given us faith that we can add more games and do more things.”
Contact Rachel Lenzi at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6510 or on Twitter @RLenziBlade.