SBD/June 12, 2013/Media

Network Execs Discuss RSN Pricing, Providing Flexible Options For Consumers

Time Warner Cable Sports President David Rone at the annual cable convention yesterday said that those who "complain about the high sports rights costs are 'really propagandizing their own position,'" according to CABLEFAX DAILY. It comes down to the "negotiations between distributors and content providers." Rone said, "There's no disconnect there." NBC Sports Group President Jon Litner said, "There's a rhetoric out there that's not accurate. The networks are appropriately priced. ... These are not easy negotiations, but it's all about the value proposition." Rone pointed to the "fact that creating RSNs puts Time Warner Cable in a costly position." Rone: "We take a serious risk. ... The relationship with the teams is not an inexpensive one." Rone added that ultimately it "should be left to the parties within negotiations." Meanwhile, Litner sees a "real opportunity for RSNs to sit down with major leagues like MLB and NBA and secure TVE rights locally so that it remains within the ecosystem" (CABLEFAX DAILY, 6/12).

LOOKING TO DOWNSIZE? TWC Chair & CEO Glenn Britt said that he "supports the idea of having smaller television packages." Britt said that cable TV packages are becoming "too expensive for many low income households, including recent college graduates struggling to find work." He noted that consumers are "looking for more flexibility than what traditional TV packages offer and that the industry should pay attention." Britt said, “I think it’s what consumers want, so we’re going to have to do that" (L.A. TIMES, 6/12).
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