SBD/July 13, 2012/Media

Fox Sports' Eric Shanks Talks About The Rising Cost Of TV Rights For RSNs

Shanks calls it "crazy" that MLB fans can't watch local games on mobile devices
Fox Sports co-President & co-COO Eric Shanks said Thursday at Variety's Sports Entertainment Summit that RSN rights deals "have to stand on their own as opposed to bigger broadcast deals that can afford sometimes to be loss leaders," according to CABLEFAX DAILY. Shanks: "There is a point where your spreadsheet says it doesn't make sense. Some people are willing to risk further above that and some people aren't." On monetizing expensive sports rights, Shanks said, "I think that to be [a] real player on the buy side and the sell side, you kind of have to have all the different levels ... the RSN side, national cable, national entertainment, and broadcast, because when you are buying rights these days, in order to make sense of the price tag, you have to be able to kind of monetize it all the way through the chain." The next step for Fox "will be non-traditional platforms, allowing fans to use various devices to connect to their teams." Shanks "called it 'crazy' that MLB currently prohibits people from watching their local team on a computer or mobile device" (CABLEFAX DAILY, 7/13).

PAC-12 NETWORKS UPDATE: Pac-12 Enterprises President Gary Stevenson said that as of Wednesday "there was nothing new of substance to report" on the Pac-12 Networks "other than what has already been known -- that the Networks will be available on Comcast, Time-Warner, Cox and Bright House." In Seattle, Bob Condotta noted negotiations "remain ongoing with DirecTV and Dish Network," something Stevenson characterized as "positive conversations." Stevenson said, "Nothing I have heard is discouraging to me." He added that he "remains confident deals will be completed" when the networks go live on Aug. 15. Stevenson noted that the "four deals the Pac-12 has at the moment cover 40 percent of the 100 million homes in America that have cable" (SEATTLETIMES.com, 7/12).
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