Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 25 No. 29
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.

MORE DETAILS ON COMCAST'S NEW PHILADELPHIA SPORTS CHANNEL

          Comcast SportsNet, which will carry the Phillies, 76ers
     and Flyers starting in October, will charge local cable
     companies $1.50 a month per subscriber, and "when that
     programming cost is passed on to subscribers, 2.5 million
     cable customers ... could wind up paying more," than the
     than they did to see the teams on Prism and SportsChannel
     Philadelphia, according to Michael Rozansky of the
     PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER. The $1.50 per subscriber monthly
     charge will make Comcast SportsNet "one of the most
     expensive -- if not the most expensive" basic cable channel
     in the U.S.  Analyst John Mansell of Paul Kagan Associates:
     "That's probably about as high as it goes for a nonpremium
     service."  Rozansky adds that at $1.50 per subscriber,
     Comcast SportsNet is "much costlier" than SportsChannel
     Philadelphia, which charged operators $0.25-0.35 monthly per
     subscriber, "but which carried only half as many games." 
     National channel like ESPN and CNN cost roughly $0.75 a
     month per subscriber.  MSG Network and SportsChannel Chicago
     charge monthly fees of $1.25 and $1.40, respectively. 
     Comcast SportsNet President Jack Williams said that its new
     channel will "have more local programming than any other"
     RSNs in the U.S., and that it would run seven-eight hours of
     live sports, "apart from games, including a four-hour
     morning news block."  Williams: "No one is doing anything
     close to what we're doing here" (PHILA. INQUIRER, 7/27).
          MASS REVENUE? Rozansky: "Instead of going with a high-
     priced premium service bought by a few hundred thousand
     people ... Comcast is offering a basic cable channel paid
     for and potentially seen by millions of viewers."  A
     Philadelphia-area cable operator, who asked not to be
     identified, told Rozansky: "Everyone's going to pay for
     sports teams that 30 percent of the market watches." 
     Rozansky writes that industry sources "and simple math
     suggest" that the channel will bring in $45M in subscriber
     and operator fees -- "about" 50% more than the $30M Prism
     and SportsChannel Philadelphia generated from subscribers --
     and "up to" $10M in advertising (PHILA. INQUIRER, 7/27).