Spectrum Sports
CountryUnited States
Broadcast areaUpstate New York
NetworkSpectrum Sports
HeadquartersWest Seneca, New York
Language(s)American English
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
480i (SDTV)
OwnerCharter Communications
Sister channelsSpectrum Sports (Ohio),
Spectrum Sports (Wisconsin),
Spectrum Sports (Kansas City),
Spectrum SportsNet (Los Angeles),
Spectrum Sports (Texas)
Launched2003; 21 years ago (2003)
ReplacedEmpire Sports Network, Time Warner Cable SportsChannel
ClosedOctober 5, 2017; 6 years ago (2017-10-05)
Replaced byMSG Western New York
Former names
  • Time Warner Sports (Syracuse)
  • Time Warner SportsNet (Buffalo and Rochester)
  • Time Warner Cable SportsNet (Buffalo and Rochester)

Spectrum Sports was a network of regional sports cable television stations serving much of the upstate New York area. The stations, which were owned and operated by Charter Communications through its acquisition of Time Warner Cable in May 2016, were available in Rochester, Binghamton, Syracuse and Buffalo. The network broadcast a variety of local college and minor league sports games and was the de facto successor to the Buffalo-based Empire Sports Network. Unlike most regional sports networks, Spectrum Sports was never available on satellite television, nor was it available in areas of upstate that are served by companies other than Charter Spectrum/Time Warner Cable (such as Atlantic Broadband in Cattaraugus County or Zito Media in Cayuga County).


The network was formed in 2003 as budget cuts at the now-defunct Empire Sports Network, the area's previous regional sports network, forced severe cutbacks in the network's ability to cover sports outside of Buffalo. As a result, Syracuse University dropped Empire and instead signed a contract with Time Warner to carry their games on a separate channel, which became Time Warner Sports. Time Warner added some other sports events from local college and minor league sports teams to create the channel, which was initially only offered in the Syracuse area. In December 2006, Time Warner Sports expanded southward into the Binghamton market.

Also in December 2006, Time Warner SportsNet (TWSN) was established by Time Warner Cable in Rochester by acquiring rights to teams owned by the Rochester Sports Group: namely the Americans (ice hockey), Knighthawks (indoor lacrosse), Rattlers (outdoor lacrosse) and Raging Rhinos (soccer). Some of those teams had previously aired on other Time Warner channels, such as WRWB (the cable-only WB affiliate on channel 16 which has since has been sold to WHAM-TV) and Time Warner's overflow channel, channel 98. In June 2007, TWSN obtained the rights to televise the games of the Rochester Red Wings baseball team. TWSN also obtained the rights to air the Rochester Razorsharks basketball team, replays of the Rochester Raiders indoor football team, and some collegiate sports. The channel serves the entire Greater Rochester area, including the Finger Lakes region and Genesee County (Batavia).

Time Warner Cable established a Buffalo version of TWSN on November 19, 2007, on channel 13 on Buffalo-area TWC systems, operating out of the former Empire studios on Indian Church Road in West Seneca. The channel replaced former local-interest channel "Time Warner 13." TWSN hired former Empire host Jim Brinson in the spring of 2008; Brinson returned to Western New York after a stint as the morning co-anchor at KOHD in Bend, Oregon and hosts programs as well as handles play-by-play duties.

In March 2009, after parent company Time Warner spun off Time Warner Cable as a separate company, all three stations were correspondingly re-branded to begin with "Time Warner Cable" instead of just "Time Warner". The Buffalo and Rochester stations were rebranded as Time Warner Cable SportsChannel in fall 2012, adopting a logo similar to the newly established Time Warner Cable SportsNet in Los Angeles. Likewise, the channels were rebranded "Spectrum Sports" in September 2016 when Charter Communications purchased Time Warner Cable.

Spectrum Sports ceased operations on October 5, 2017. Locally originated programming mostly ended in June; the network waited until October to cease operations to fulfill its commitment to professional baseball coverage.[1] Existing programming on the network was merged into Spectrum News and migrated to online platforms.[2]


Spectrum Sports aired a wide variety of local sports programming. To suit local interests, and because of rights issues, some events are carried only on the Buffalo, Rochester and/or Syracuse feeds. Binghamton, Utica, and North Country viewers receive the Syracuse (Central New York) feed.

In addition to local sports (listed below), Time Warner Sports was also affiliated with ESPNEWS, which was usually carried during the midday period while that network was provided to regional sports networks for filler programming. Paid programming airs on the channel in the overnight hours.

Most first-choice Big East basketball and football games produced by ESPN Plus aired exclusively on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel in its broadcast territory, including any that involve Syracuse University. Additionally, Spectrum Sports rebroadcasts Syracuse University games televised by other ESPN networks. SNY (which is part-owned by Charter) generally only has rights to the same games in the New York City metropolitan area. However, it may have access to other Big East games to show across the full viewing area, particularly in basketball.

All stations

Buffalo only

Rochester only

Buffalo and Rochester only

Syracuse only

See also


  1. ^ Oklobzija, Kevin (5 October 2017). "Spectrum Sports channel ceases operations". rbj.net.
  2. ^ Pergament, Alan (August 23, 2017). "Spectrum going all in on Friday night high school football". The Buffalo News. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  3. ^ Pergament, Alan (April 25, 2009). "Sports on the Air: Mayock has scheme for selection". The Buffalo News.
  4. ^ Pergament, Alan (March 31, 2011). "Sports on the Air: Yanks games fly to WNGS". Still Talkin TV. Retrieved April 4, 2013.