SBD/Issue 98/Sports Media

CSN Moving Forward In '09 While Other Media Outlets Cut Back

While "most media companies are cutting back," Comcast Sportsnet (CSN) is "investing in studio improvements and new programming and revamping its Web sites," according to John Consoli of the N.Y. TIMES. CSN Exec VP & Chief Revenue Officer Ray Warren said that his goal was to "make the company's regional sports networks, in cities like New York, Boston, Chicago, Phildelphia and San Francisco, 'the ESPN of local markets.'" Warren said that CSN was "bringing in more ad revenue from national advertisers than it was from local advertisers." Warren added that "inroads could be made with national advertisers in categories like fast food, pharmaceuticals, tourism and technology." Warren: "Our ratings are good. We need to start talking about that with advertisers." CSN Senior VP/News Operations Princell Hair said, "As we look at the different markets we are in, each one has different viewer sensibilities, and we are trying to target new programming to meet those sensibilities. ESPN has their sports talk shows nationally, and we are looking to do what they do nationally on a local level. There is room for both of us." Hair added that he "wanted to expand beyond game broadcasts and produce more programming throughout the day." GroupM's Matrix Managing Partner Peter Gusmano said that CSN "gave local advertisers an affordable way to get into professional sports broadcasts in big markets." Gusmano: "All of my clients are extremely receptive to these regional sports networks, and the moves they are making will not fall on deaf ears" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/9).

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