SBJ/April 28-May 4/People and Pop Culture
Plugged In: Phil Bedella, Comcast SportsNet Chicago
Published April 28, 2014, Page 3
We are seeing a significant shift in how people consume media. Live sports is more important to cable and satellite affiliates and more so to the advertising community. I don’t see any reason why the rights won’t escalate. There is demand not just from consumers but from affiliates and advertisers.”
On the challenge of covering those teams: If something unfortunate happens with our teams, we are going to report it. Our goal is to stay fair and consistent. Most of the conversation is initiated by us. We will be proactive about it. We are a news-gathering organization and we have to deliver that to the fans.
On the importance of live, local streaming rights: I see it every day with how my children consume content. I look at the next generation of viewers, and it is a must-have. We hope to have streaming deals worked out with the NBA in time for next season. There are a lot of moving pieces, and it is not something that is solved overnight. The teams and the league don’t want to get left behind and miss a generation of young fans because they don’t have the content in the vehicles where they want to consume it.
On working with other Comcast RSNs: A lot of what we talk about is cross-promotion. Right now, we are playing the Washington Wizards in the NBA playoffs and we are speaking with the general manager of [Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic] to use each other’s assets to cross-promote. We may have their beat writer on our sports talk shows, and we also share ideas. If we have a program that we have negotiated to carry, it may come with rights we can pass on to the other regionals. That takes place pretty regularly