ESPN Draws Lowest "MNF" Rating Of '14 Finebaum Hosting Call-In Show During Iron Bowl FS North's Ratings Decline For Twins Games Continues App Review: Cavaliers For iPhone Cowboys-Giants Rating Lower On NBC ESPN May Sell Video Subs For Cricket Tourney Media Notes MLB Fires Back Against MASN In Court Battle Bama Again Draws CBS' Top CFB Audience Rogers Defends NHL GamePlus Exclusivity
SBD/December 8, 2011/Media
Chase Carey Hints News Corp. Would Oppose Putting Sports Channels On Tier
Published December 8, 2011
COSTS SOARING: In L.A., Meg James notes cable nets are "beginning to feel the pinch of dramatically higher programming costs." ESPN in '06 "spent $3.5 billion on programming for its flagship channel." Consulting firm SNL Kagan indicated that ESPN's content costs this year "have mushroomed to $5.2 billion -- a nearly 50% jump from five years ago." Meanwhile, programming expenses for TNT "have soared 55% since 2006 to $1.1 billion this year, propelled by sports rights fees for NBA and NCAA basketball as well as a lineup of original dramas." Programming expenses for Versus "have expanded 120% from 2006 levels, in large part because of a recent $200-million-a-year deal" with the NHL. ESPN's programming expenses "soon will soar even more." The net in two years will begin paying the NFL "$1.9 billion a year for professional football -- a 72% increase over the network's current fee." That is "part of the reason ESPN, with its pricey lineup of sports properties, has a lower cash flow margin of about 25%." The media industry "is bracing for the next big hit as CBS, Fox and NBC negotiate their new NFL deals" (L.A. TIMES, 12/8).