ESPN Won't Continue Airing French Open Red Sox' Lucchino Stepping Down NBCU Marking Year-Out Date From Rio Astros Raising Season-Ticket Prices For '16 CBS Revives SportsLine With Pay Site UFC Fight Pass Could Tailor Content To Viewers NBC, ESPN, Fox Expected To Bid On EPL Mortensen Cancels Appearance On WEEI Blue Jays' Anthopoulos Praised For Bold Moves New TV Deal Boosts Cardinals Value Over $1.6B
SBD/January 28, 2013/Media
Verizon Joins DirecTV In Charging Subscribers Surcharge For RSNs
Published January 28, 2013
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EVERYONE PAYS: In N.Y., Brian Stelter in a front-page piece noted the "eye-popping price tags have restarted debate about a topic near and dear to sports fans, fairness: many TV customers never watch the mightily expensive channels at all, yet almost all must pay." Stelter wrote just about "everybody in the business agrees that the overall costs are outrageous," but nobody has "an easy solution." For the most part, "all of these networks are requirements, not options for cable customers." Industry critics said that if "anything ever causes distributors to try more of an 'à la carte' model of pricing, it’s sports programming." Some distributor execs "privately agree." They "talk of a bubble caused by the high license fees commanded by sports leagues, and demanded by the networks that pay those fees." They said that they "want to keep costs down, and some have even threatened to drop low-rated channels from their lineups." But they "continue to agree to pay more and more for sports." Bevilacqua Helfant Ventures co-Founder & CEO Chris Bevilacqua said, "If consumers were that upset by the costs, they'd be dropping their cable subscriptions in droves" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/26).