SBD/Issue 175/Sports Media

Comcast Plans To Bolster FSN New England To Compete With NESN

Comcast SportsNet President Jon Litner said that plans for FSN New England “hinge on bolstering the channel’s programming with new shows and growing its staff of producers and on-air talent,” according to Keith Reed of the BOSTON GLOBE.  Comcast agreed to buy the half of FSN New England it did not already own in April as part of a $570M deal that also included a 60% stake in FSN Bay Area.  FSN New England will change its name after the sale and “might eventually seek the right to air games” other than the Celtics and MLS Revolution, which it already airs. Comcast wants to reposition the network to become "more competitive with stronger rival” NESN. Comcast spokesperson Tim Fitzpatrick said, “There’s certainly room for more than one sports network in the market.” Boston-based Mullen Associate Broadcast Dir Kim Best said the increase in local shows will be “another avenue for local advertisers to tap into. It’ll have a local appeal for automotive, healthcare, and financial advertisers.” Reed notes Comcast’s plans for FSN New England “mirror its moves in the eight other cities where it owns sports channels” (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/6).

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