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State of the Screens

Hometown Heroes: RSN Deals Deliver For Networks (and Fans) On Opening Weekend

By July 30, 2020November 15th, 2021No Comments

Big news #1: Comcast and Marquee Sports Network agreed in time for opening day so that 1.6M pay-TV subscribers could watch the Cubs.

Big news #2: Spectrum SportsNet LA and AT&T ended their (almost) 6-year dispute that kept the Dodgers out of ≈ 70% of pay-TV homes in Los Angeles.

Why this matters: Unlike the NFL, the primary media game for Major League Baseball is local, with 89% of games being aired on a Regional Sports Network (RSN).

Flashback #1: Cubs partnership could mark the start of Sinclair’s push into sports programming

Current deal: NBC Sports Chicago gets $4.20/subscriber/month split between the Bulls, Cubs, White Sox, and Blackhawks.

New deal: The new network plans to charge ≈ $5.00/subscriber/month.

Flashback #2: The Dodgers Are on a Roll but Fans Remain in the Dark Amid Cable-TV Dispute

The Dodgers are guaranteed $8.35B over 25 years from Charter Communications.

That breaks down to an average of $334M/year!

In order to break even, the Network needs to make $1,988 from every pay-TV subscriber in the region or an average of $80/subscriber/year.

Video: Instant Insight Comcast Marquee Deal

More #1: Can Regional Sports Networks Save Linear Pay TV?

More #2: TV is Unbundling. What Fate, RSNs?

Michael Beach

Michael Beach

Michael Beach is the Chief Executive Officer of Cross Screen Media, a media analytics and software company that enables marketers to plan, activate, and measure CTV and linear TV at the local level. Michael is also the founder and editor of State of the Screens, a weekly newsletter focused on video advertising that is a must-read for thought leaders in the advertising industry. He has appeared in such publications as PBS Frontline, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Axios, CNBC and Bloomberg, and on NPR’s Planet Money podcast.

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