Which Sports Teams or Leagues Could Start Their Own TV Network?

By Alex Weprin Comment

UFL LogoThe New York Yankees have one. So do the New York Mets. Major League Baseball, the NFL and NBA all have one as well.

Yes, if you are a powerful sports brand, there is a good chance you have your own television network. But there are still some brands that aren’t on the bandwagon yet. Sports Business Journal spoke to a number of prominent sports and media executives and asked for their thoughts on which ones could make that jump.

The easy winner was UFC. The mixed martial arts league received three votes, with an “Olympics”channel receiving two. All the other suggestions had only one vote.

Both a UFC channel and an Olympics channel make a lot of sense. They each attract massive viewership numbers to their special event programming, the UFC to pay-per-view and the Olympics to the Winter and Summer games every two years.

Other suggestions in the SBJ panel are also strong, such as a NASCAR channel (from a Turner Sports exec, whose company operates NASCAR.com) and FIFA.

The problem, of course, is that teams and leagues rely heavily on television rights dollars for support. While it seems to be working for YES, SNY, MLB Network and NFL Network, the formula may not apply across all sports, all the time.

What do you think, which teams or leagues should start their own network, and will it work?