The Joy of Six: obscure North American sports channels – The Guardian

1. MAVTV

Format: Formerly Maverick Television, the “MAV” stands for “Movies, Action and Variety.” Although it’s really a motorsports channel and a landing spot for some of the shows orphaned when Fox Sports axed the Speed Channel domestically in the summer of 2013.

Headquarters: Corona, California.

Satellite options: DirecTV, Channel 214.

Cable options: Verizon Fios, Channel 810.

Cord-cutting options: Visit MAVTV.com for a channel finder.

Is it 24 hours? Nope.

Will I see Ted Nugent? Never say never.

Will I see Steven Seagal? Possibly.

Then what will I see? Lucas Oil owns the channel, so you’ve got a good idea of what’s coming: An eclectic (if odd) mix of red-state, grassroots motorsports (drag, dirt racing, tractor pulls, truck pulls, sprint cars) and overseas staples such as the FIA World Rally Championship and drifting events. And a little MMA. And the occasional macho movie block.

Show title we swear to God we’re not making up: Titan American Built: The Bone Scraper.

2. Sportsman Channel

Format: Outdoor sports and killing. But mostly killing.

Headquarters: New Berlin, Wisconsin.

Satellite options: Dish, Channel 395; DirecTV, Channel 605/1605.

Cable options: Generally found nationwide, including carriage on Time Warner, Comcast, AT&T and Cablevision.

Cord-cutting options: AT&T U-verse, Channels 642/1642; Sky Angel, Channel 326.

Is it 24 hours? Yup.

Will I see Ted Nugent? The Madman made a cameo on the channel’s Amazing America with Sarah Palin earlier this year, and we know The Nuge watches: when Verizon dropped the network from its Fios service in September, Uncle Ted called into Alex Jones’ Infowars show to voice his discontent.

“My God, Alex,” Nugent reportedly said. “The number of freedom-abusing, freedom-destroying, fundamental transformation, abuse of power and corruption and fraud and deceit and anti-Americanism that runs amok in this country from the president on down, it breaks the hearts of good Americans by the hour across this country. When Verizon cancels (Sportsman) Channel, it’s a direct result of the anti-gun, anti-freedom, anti-hunting, anti-wildlife, anti-science, anti-Americanism that has infested our media across this land.”

Will I see Steven Seagal? We can only hope.

Then what will I see? With a slogan of ‘Red, Wild and Blue’, it basically does what it says on the box. Hunting. Fishing. Shooting. And Sarah Palin.

Show titles we swear to God we’re not making up: Trained Assassins; Winchester Deadly Passion; Gun It With Benny Spies.

3. ONE World Sports

Format: Rick Steves with a jock strap. ONE World whisks you around the globe for an up-close look at the sports you used to play in gym class. If you’ve been waiting your entire life for a network to bring Dynamo Moscow hockey games to your man cave, the wait is over.

Headquarters: Stamford, Connecticut.

Satellite options: Dish, Channel 9794.

Cable options: Varies by region, but most prominently on Verizon FiOS, Channel 597; Google Fiber, Channel 251.

Cord-cutting options: Visit OneWorldSports.com for a channel finder.

Is it 24 hours? Yup.

Will I see Ted Nugent? When hell freezes over.

Will I see Steven Seagal? Are you kidding?

Then what will I see? The stuff that seemingly always filled time (especially overnights) on ESPN or Versus/NBCSN before they doubled (or tripled) down on television contract rights with the big North American sports leagues. International soccer (including Arsenal TV and replays), Russian hockey, Chinese basketball, Japanese baseball (Yomiuri Giants), Mexican baseball, golf, cricket, table tennis. Oh, yeah. And darts.

Show title we swear to God we’re not making up: Badminton Unlimited.

4. World Fishing Network

Format: What the NFL Network is to Odell Beckham, the World Fishing Network is to walleye. Fishing and outdoor lifestyle enthusiasts have an island of their own here, with shows on instruction, tips, tournaments, travel and boating, among other offerings.

Headquarters: Toronto, Ontario.

Satellite options: Bell TV (Canada), Channel 419; Shaw Direct (Canada), Channel 458.

Cable options: Varies by region.

Cord-cutting options: AT&T U-verse, Channel 1679; visit www.WorldFishingNetwork.com for select online programming.

Is it 24 hours? Nope.

Will I see Ted Nugent? Maybe.

Will I see Steven Seagal? Only if a US navy battleship happens to pass through.

Then what will I see? A severe lack of dry land. A sport that your uncle takes way too seriously being taken way too seriously by way too many people. College basketball has March Madness; WFN has Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing, with recognized fishing clubs springing up at more than 150 universities.

Show title we swear to God we’re not making up: Crappie Time.

5. Outdoor Channel

Format: Get off your freaking backside, turn off the television, and go do something outside. Go on. Something. Anything. But — wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait! — watch this first.

Headquarters: Denver, Colorado.

Satellite options: Dish, Channel 396; DirecTV, Channel 606/1606.

Cable options: Generally available nationwide.

Cord-cutting options: AT&T U-verse, Channel 680/1680; Sky Angel, Channel 327.

Is it 24 hours? Yup.

Will I see Ted Nugent? Holy Whitetail, will you ever. Outdoor Channel is the home of Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild, in which the Madman gleefully flaunts his First and Second Amendment rights. And rocks his ass off. And shoots stuff. In 2014, Uncle Ted was announced as Outdoor Channel’s “brand ambassador,” so if you mess with Outdoor Channel, brother, you mess with The Nuge.

Will I see Steven Seagal? What is this, Christmas?

Then what will I see? Similar fare to the Sportsman Channel, only a little less kill-y and a bit more outdoors-y. Outdoor Channel is a Kroenke Sports Enterprises property, in the same corporate family as Arsenal, the Denver Nuggets and the St. Louis (for now) Rams, so there’s some clear money and polish behind the network and its productions. Plus, R Lee Ermey, doing R Lee Ermey … things.

Show title we swear to God we’re not making up: Sasquatch Mountain Man.

6. AyM Sports

Format: Your Spanish-language home for all things Mexican and distinctly Mexican: Liga Mexicana del Pacifico (Winter League Baseball), Beisbol LMB (Mexican Major League Baseball), 1st A Division Soccer, rodeo, and the crown jewel: Lucha Libre — Mexican wrestling.

Headquarters: Coral Gables, Florida (domestic).

Cable options: Varies by region, but major carriers include Time Warner, Charter and Verizon.

Cord-cutting options: Listed as part of Roku’s Yaveo service; for more information, visit www.alternativ.us.

Is it 24 hours? Si!

Will I see Ted Nugent? Ha!

Will I see Steven Seagal? That would rule, but probably not.

Then what will I see? Anything at anytime: baseball, soccer, basketball, college sports, boxing, kickboxing, muay thai, wrestling, motorsports, rodeo, extreme sports, rugby, cycling, charreadas (rodeo), extreme sports, rugby, cycling, golf — even fishing. And lots of really, really, really cool masks.

Show title we swear to God we’re not making up: Bla Bla Bla Deportivo. Which translates roughly to “Yada Yada Yada Sports” – or, basically, pretty much the best talk show title ever.

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