America One Redrafts Prime Time with Sports Themes

The America One television network has restructured its prime-time lineup, devoting four hours of its nightly schedule to themed sports programming.
 
Under the “One World Sports” banner, the network has begun creating targeted destinations for fans of tennis, soccer, motor sports, golf and rugby, setting aside a night for each discipline. For example, Monday nights from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. are now dedicated to tennis and golf, while Friday night serves as America One’s boxing/mixed martial arts showcase.
 
The sports silos are designed to draw larger audiences, while offering affiliates a more impactful advertising environment.
 
In exchange for carriage, America One offers affiliates four minutes of inventory per hour, or about a third of its average hourly load (12 minutes). While the barter terms vary with each individual sports property, once the stations are accounted for, America One divides the remaining ad revenue with the rights holders in a 50-50 split.
 
The Fort Worth-based network has affiliates in 125 markets, most of which are Class A and low-power independent stations serving rural areas. All told, the network passes some 33 million homes in 32 states.
 
Among the sports packages available to America One viewers and affiliates are Canadian Football League replays and Australian Rules Football matches. The network also carries English Premier League games, scheduling Bolton Wanderers matches on Sunday nights and making room for the far more competitive Everton FC on Tuesdays at 8 p.m.
 
The final hour of each night’s block is devoted to action sports.
 
The programming announcement comes just two weeks after a group of anonymous shareholders bought America One from USFR Media Group. Chief operating officer Preston Bornman is the only investor to have been identified by America One; the network characterizes the other shareholders as “a group of international sports television veterans strategically placed in key markets around the world.”
 
Upon closing the deal on April 28, the new owners tapped Wayne Becker to serve CEO of America One. Becker previously was vp, programming and international at Golf Channel. After that job was eliminated by Comcast in 2007, Becker hung out his own shingle, launching the consultancy Ascendant Sports and Media Solutions.