Fox Sports Southwest originally launched on January 4, 1983 as Home Sports Entertainment (HSE), a unit of Warner-Amex Cable….aAs one of the first regional sports networks in North America….when it served as the cable television home of professional and collegiate sports teams throughout Texas and surrounding states.
In 1988, HSE became an affiliate of Prime Sports Networks….and like many Prime Sports-affiliated networks….it shared channel space with other networks on several cable providers in its service area….which meant that most often this resulted in its programming being restricted to nighttime periods…that is until the early 1990’s….when cable systems began upgrading their head end infrastructures to increase channel capacity….while reassigning most of the cable channels that shared time with HSE to other channel slots once these upgrades were complete.
In 1994, Liberty Media acquired HSE….and converting it into an owned-and-operated affiliate of Prime Sports and changing its name to Prime Sports Southwest….then in 1996, News Corporation, which formed its own sports division for the Fox network two years earlier….acquired a 50% interest in the Prime Network from Liberty Media….and the network was officially re-branded as Fox Sports Southwest on November 1 of that year….as part of a relaunch of the Prime Network affiliates as the cornerstones of the new Fox Sports Net. The channel was then re-branded as Fox Sports Net Southwest in late 1999….as part of a collective brand modification of the FSN networks under the “Fox Sports Net” banner….and in 2004, the channel shortened its name to FSN Southwest….as a result of the networks’ de-emphasizing of the brand….before reverting back to the Fox Sports Southwest moniker in 2008. In July 2013, News Corporation spun off the Fox Sports Networks and most of its other U.S. entertainment properties into 21st Century Fox…..when on December 14, 2017….as part of a merger between both companies….The Walt Disney Company announced plans to acquire all 22 regional Fox Sports networks from 21st Century Fox….including Fox Sports Southwest…..however, on June 27, 2018, the Justice Department ordered their divestment under antitrust grounds, citing Disney’s ownership of ESPN….which also owns a stake in the Longhorn Network. It is unknown whether the networks will be divested to other parties….or be retained by the proposed “New Fox” ….which will consist of the assets excluded from Disney’s purchase….while including the Fox broadcast network….Fox News Channel….and Fox Business Network….along with the remainder of the Fox Sports division.
This 1984 HSE NBA Game of the Week with the Houston Rockets verses the Dallas Mavs halftime show featuring Norm Hitzges and Allen Stone provides a realistic view of what regional sports networks were all about in the mid- 1980’s.