SBD/18/Sports Media

DON'T SHED A TIER FOR RSN'S MOVING TO EXPANDED BASIC

     The repositioning of several regional sports networks from
pay to expanded basic cable services is examined in the latest
issue of BROADCASTING & CABLE.  Rich Brown reports, "More and
more cable system operators are becoming receptive to the idea of
using regional sports services to drive their expanded basic
tiers."  MI's PASS Sports has converted 20% of its Detroit market
and 80% of the outside market to expanded basic.  PASS GM Jeffrey
Genthner:  "The economics are just so obvious to go to more
broadly viewed tiers.  As a premium channel, you can't capitalize
on the advertising dollars that are available."  What is lost for
operator and the channel is subscription fees, although they were
"becoming more difficult to charge" given the rise in monthly
cable rates.  Rainbow Sports Exec VP Michael Bair said they have
converted more than 1 million homes to expanded basic for their
RSNs and that they plan to convert all by the end of '97
(BROADCASTING & CABLE, 4/15 issue).
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