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SBD/June 26, 2012/Media
Hornets, Fox Sign Long-Term TV Deal; RSN To Be Rebranded "Fox Sports New Orleans"
Published June 26, 2012
MARKETING BENEFITS: In New Orleans, Jimmy Smith notes the agreement between the Hornets and Fox Sports “is expected to help the team’s marketing efforts by sending game telecasts to areas that had been excluded because of pricing conflicts between the previous network and local cable providers.” Since the Hornets relocated from Charlotte in ’02, games have been televised by Cox Sports "under what was a ground-breaking cable network deal" that paid the Hornets about $10M annually, and "created the basis for the CST network, which has grown significantly during the past decade.” A source said last month that the deal with Fox “would compensate the team comparably, probably 10 years in the neighborhood of" $100M. Under the new agreement, “many local cable viewers, especially those on the north shore served by Charter Communications, will be able to receive the broadcast signal on their provider’s basic tier of services, of which CST was not part because CST and Charter disagreed on cost factors.” It is “unclear whether the Hornets’ current broadcast team of play-by-play announcer Bob Licht and analyst Gil McGregor will remain in place, though both are employed by the Hornets” (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 6/26).