Fox Networks President of Distribution Michael Hopkins during an industry convention in San Diego yesterday indicated that sports is a '"pretty small percentage’ of the overall cable bill after factoring in equipment fees and other charges.” He said, “Set-top box charges are more than ESPN.” However, he added programmers and distributors “have failed” on rising costs. Meanwhile, Pac-12 Networks President Lydia Murphy-Stephans “defended sports pricing as both necessary to fund the ‘extraordinary’ live production costs and to recognize its ‘DVR-proof’ value” (CABLEFAX DAILY, 8/1).
BLAZING THE SAME TRAIL: In Portland, Suzanne Stevens reported the Trail Blazers have renewed their local broadcast deal with KGW-NBC “for the next three seasons.” The station can air a “minimum of 16 regular season games.” The actual number “is contingent upon the NBA’s national broadcast schedule.” KGW has been the team's flagship station since the ’92-93 season (BIZJOURNALS.com, 7/31).
INSTRUCTIONS NOT INCLUDED: S.F.-based online gaming outfit World Golf Tour has signed a multiyear deal to have noted instructor David Leadbetter be the official virtual golf instructor in WGT's games. Leadbetter will offer club and shot selection advice in the games and write monthly tips for WGT players (Eric Fisher, Staff Writer).