Light Reading
The new Los Angeles Dodgers sports network, SportsNet LA, is asking for monthly fees between $4.50 and $5 per sub from pay-TV providers. Many are resisting.

Ticket Price Shock for New Dodgers Network

Mari Silbey
2/27/2014
50%
50%

Sports networks are expensive. However, SportsNet LA, the new regional sports network offering around-the-clock coverage of the Los Angeles Dodgers, is more so than most.

USA Today reports that SportsNet LA is asking between $4.50 and $5 per subscriber per month from pay-TV providers that want to carry its content. So far, only Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) has added the station to its line-up, which is not surprising because the cable company is already subsidizing the network to the tune of $8.35 billion shelled out to the Dodgers over the next 25 years.

TWC has an estimated 2 million customers in Los Angeles, representing about 45% of the TV market. DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)'s FiOS, and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s U-Verse are among the providers that have balked at paying the price that SportsNet LA is pitching.

Cable companies repeatedly cite sports programming juggernaut ESPN as providing the most valuable content in their bundles for customer retention and acquisition. The results of an operator survey released this week by Beta Networks Corp. listed ESPN as the No. 1 network for perceived value among pay-TV providers for the 14th year in a row. Yet even ESPN charges no more than an estimated $5.40 per subscriber per month, and the network's sports coverage is far more extensive than a single team.

ESPN is also the most expensive content provider to date in cable bundles, although content rights fees are rising in other areas as well. CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS) CEO Les Moonves has said he expects his company to generate $1 billion from retransmission and affiliate fees by 2017. (See CBS Financials Fuel Aereo Angst)

The price of programming is one big reason why the cable industry is consolidating. Service providers are hoping to wield more power in content negotiations by increasing their distribution footprints. Regional sports networks present a unique challenge, however, because their greatest viewing interest is contained in a very small geographic area.

The question is: How long will pay-TV providers be able to hold out against networks like SportNet LA in the face of fan demand? The answer may be a lot clearer come opening day of the baseball season at the end of March.

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/1/2014 | 3:31:03 PM
Re: Overpriced?
This issue will come to a head in April. The Dodgers are a popular brand in LA, especially for content in the summer. The $8.35 billion TWC has paid out to the Dodgers network is proof of that. 

Live sports is one of the last mediums of content that broadcast and cable can count on. Netflix is not streaming baseball games yet. 
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
2/28/2014 | 4:44:23 PM
Re: Overpriced?
You mean the Dodgers can command higher prices than, say, the KC Royals? Well, yeah, i guess so. But can they command a higher price than the Yankees in New York or the red Sox in Boston? I'm not so sure abut that. As for that loyal Dodgers fan base, don't they all still leave Chevez Ravine in the 7th inning to avoid the traffic going home?e  
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
2/27/2014 | 4:47:01 PM
Re: Overpriced?
Not that this legitimizes the asking price in any way, but the Dodgers will field one of the best teams in baseball this year, and have one of the largest, most rabid regional fan bases every year. If they're going to ask for a big fee, now is the time to do it.

 
FakeMitchWagner
50%
50%
FakeMitchWagner,
User Rank: Lightning
2/27/2014 | 3:46:45 PM
Overpriced?
Something having to do with professional sports is overpriced? I'm shocked, shocked I say!
Flash Poll
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed NFV-Based Business Services by RAD

7|18|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


With the ETSI-approved Distributed NFV PoC running in the background, RAD's CEO, Dror Bin, talks about why D-NFV makes compelling sense for service providers, and about the dollars and cents RAD is putting behind D-NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
MRV Accelerating Packet Optical Convergence

7|15|14   |   6:06   |   (0) comments


Giving you network insight to make your network smarter.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV-Enabled Ethernet for Generating New Revenues

7|15|14   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Cyan's Planet Orchestrate allows service providers and their end-customers to activate software-based capabilities such as firewalls and encryption on top of existing Ethernet services in just minutes.
LRTV Custom TV
Symkloud NVF-Ready Video Transcoding, Big Data

7|9|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


Kontron and ISV partner Vantrix demonstrate high-performance video transcoding and data analytic solutions on same 2U standard platform that is ready for SDN and NFV deployments made by mobile, cable and cloud operators.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Evolving Role of Hybrid Video for Competitive Success

7|4|14   |   4:09   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's Global Analysts Summit in Shenzhen, China, Steven C. Hawley from TV Strategies speaks to us about the evolving role of hybrid video for competitive success.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How CSPs Leverage Big Data in the Digital Economy

7|4|14   |   4:48   |   (2) comments


Justin van der Lande from Analysys Mason shares with us his views on how telecom operators can leverage customer asset monetization with big data. His discusses the current status of big data applications and the challenges and opportunities for telecom operators in the digital economy era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accelerator for Digital Business Future Oriented BSS

7|4|14   |   3:08   |   (0) comments


Mobile and internet are becoming intertwined; IT and CT are integrating; and leading CSPs have begun to transform to information service and entertainment providers. How should the BSS system evolve to enable this transformation? Karl Whitelock, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan, shares his views.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Orange Tunisia Discusses Multi-Band Antenna With EasyRET Solution

7|4|14   |   2:45   |   (0) comments


As new site acquisition becomes more difficult, Orange Tunisia has requested multi-band antenna to support UMTS and LTE innovation. Some things considered include reducing the cost of antenna maintenance and having high reliability antenna and EasyRET solution.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How Telefonica Spain Considers Antenna Selection for LTE Network Deployment

7|4|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Tony Conlan, Global CTO of RAN, Telefonica, shares his opinion on antennas in LTE network deployment: Tower space is the premier requirement on antennas; reliability is important to reduce OPEX; and EasyRET solution will be helpful for antenna maintenance.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
dtac Thailand: Multi-band Antenna & Capacity Solution for a Better MBB Experience

7|3|14   |   3:45   |   (0) comments


With the development of LTE, tower space and load are limited for new antenna, but users' capacity requirements are growing fast. To provide a better MBB experience, Panya Vechbanyongratana from dtac Thailand shared his experiences and antenna requirements.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Panel: Network of the Future

7|2|14   |   1:00:57   |   (0) comments


Full-length video of the ATIS Panel Discussion: 'How Far Away Is the Network of the Future & What Does It Look Like?' from the Big Telecom Event (BTE) in Chicago.
LRTV Custom TV
Redknee Supports BH Telecom With Redknee Unified

7|2|14   |   6.14   |   (0) comments


Lucas Skoczkowski, CEO of Redknee, and Amir Orucevic, Director BH Mobile, discuss how the benefits of the Redknee Unified suite of products provide BH Telecom with innovation and leadership in the market, with the flexibility to launch services faster to the market, provide new and compelling promotions and pricing models, and combine services in order to drive ...
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
Infographics
Allot's latest MobileTrends Charging Report shows that value-based pricing plans are up from 35% in 2011 to 85% in 2014.
Hot Topics
Microsoft to Axe 12,500 Ex-Nokia Employees
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 7/17/2014
GM: 10 Car Models on Road With AT&T's LTE
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 7/18/2014
Have IBM & Apple Partnered Their Way to Cloud Leadership?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 7/18/2014
The Municipal Menace?
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 7/22/2014
FiOS: Slower Sub Growth, Faster Upload Speeds
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 7/22/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed