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SBD/May 15, 2013/Media
McCain Pushes A La Carte Before Senate Panel; ESPN's Skipper Not Overly Concerned
Published May 15, 2013
SKIPPER FIRMLY AGAINST A LA CARTE: ESPN President John Skipper yesterday said that he "isn’t too worried" about McCain's proposed legislation. Skipper after the network's upfront presentation in N.Y. said, "We don't think the bill has any momentum." In L.A., Joe Flint notes Skipper's view that the legislation is a "long shot is shared by many television industry insiders." Skipper said that ESPN is priced "appropriately given the popularity of the channel." He added McCain is "dead wrong" on the issue. Skipper said that the cost for a family of four to go to dinner and a movie is "as much if not more than the cost of a monthly cable bill" (L.A. TIMES, 5/15). Skipper added, "ESPN is not a niche network and I'd like to meet some of these people who don't like ESPN. We have 115 million people a week who engage with ESPN Media … and we think we provide great value." He added the current cable package "provides great value." Skipper: "The average hour of television consumed in a pay television package is $0.23. That's a great value and a great story." A la carte programming "will not provide consumers with better choice or with better economics." The popularity of ESPN and other big networks "allows there to be a huge ecosystem of niche networks with diverse points of view and diverse product and those networks simply will not be able to exist in an a la carte universe" ("Bloomberg West," Bloomberg TV, 5/14).