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Chicago-Based Sports Network Launches With New Shows & Hosts

120 Sports -- a Chicago-based, all-digital sports network with major connections and financial backing -- finally launched last week, after being first announced five months ago. Since its announcements of who would be part of the new network earlier in 2014, numerous more sports talents, including some well-known Chicago names, have been hired.

120 Sports is a live-streaming sports network, available on computers, smart phones, tablets, and Internet-capable televisions. Those behind 120 Sports include Sports Illustrated magazine and its parent company Time Inc., MLB.com/Major League Baseball, the NHL, the NBA, NASCAR, IMG College (representing many leading collegiate conferences), and Chicago-based digital sports media company Silver Chalice. That last partner, Silver Chalice, was founded and is run by some of the biggest executives in Chicago (and national) sports, including Jerry Reinsdorf, Brooks Boyer, Jason R. Coyle, and John Burris. IMG College and Silver Chalice jointly own and operate another digital sports network, Campus Insiders, which is also a partner with 120 Sports.

With such incredible backing behind the new network, expectations are high for 120 Sports' long-term success.

The network was named 120 Sports for its concept of offering original sports programming segments which will be only two-minutes long (120 seconds). The network will be streaming 24 hours each day of the year, offering highlights, analysis, and conversation. The plan is to have commentary from knowledgeable analysts, athletes, newsmakers, and fans.

After months of hype of itself, along with ambiguity about launch dates and certain hires, 120 Sports finally launched at 5:00pm last Wednesday, June 25th, with a live evening sports news/talk show. This morning, the Internet station launched its first-ever live morning show.

Laurence Holmes
In addition to the hires announced this past March, 120 Sports has hired the following personalities:
Laurence Holmes - Chicago native, WSCR-AM/670 The Score nighttime host, and WMAQ-TV/NBC 5 freelance weekend sports host/reporter. (He will be keeping both of those jobs.) Holmes will serve as morning show co-host.
Antoine Walker - Former Chicago area high school basketball star who went on to have a stellar college basketball and NBA careers. Walker will serve as a basketball analyst.
Rick Strom - Native Chicagoan and former host with The Young Turks' video-only sports network. Strom will serve as co-host of a show.
Eric Edholm - Current writer for Yahoo Sports, based out of Chicago. Former writer for such outlets as Pro Football Weekly, The Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, The Wall Street Journal, and others. Edholm will serve as NFL and Fantasy Football analyst for the morning show.
Danny Graves - Former Cleveland Indians/Cincinnati Reds star pitcher. Graves will serve as a baseball analyst.
Steve Phillips - Former minor league baseball player, who went on to have a 13-year career as a front office executive with the New York Mets, perhaps most famous for having a sexual harassment suit filed against him. He also worked four years for ESPN as an analyst, before getting fired for having an affair with an ESPN production assistant. He has since done radio shows in New York and for SiriusXM radio. Phillips will also serve as a baseball analyst.

The new evening show is anchored by former ESPN sports anchor Michael Kim. The two-hour morning show, which launched at 7:00am this morning, is being called "The 120 Morning Run." The program is hosted by Holmes, along with Chicago comedic/improv actor Dylan McGorty, who also happens to be a life-long sports fanatic and has been doing some occasional weekend work on WGWG-LP/87.7 The Game.

In between the new morning show which ends at 9:00am and the evening show that starts at 5:00pm, 120 Sports is now providing incremental live updates on trending sports topics.

Jason Coyle, President of 120 Sports, said in a statement today: "After an exciting launch week, we're pleased to introduce an additional block of original programming that provides an ideal way to catch-up on last night's big sports moments and follow the latest developments of ongoing stories. As 120 Sports continues to grow, our goal is to continue to add to our current line-up of live sports conversation."

120 Sports broadcasts its digital network from a custom-built digital production facility on the campus of Harpo Studios. Chicago's Silver Chalice is overseeing all production and business operations. Silver Chalice's Campus Insiders also now comes from these leased studios in Chicago's West Loop.

Silver Chalice and Sports Illustrated's national sales organizations are overseeing the sales and marketing of 120 Sports, while Sports Illustrated/Time Inc. is providing operational and business development support.

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