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DON'T SHED A TIER FOR RSN'S MOVING TO EXPANDED BASIC
Published April 18, 1996
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).