Regional Sports Networks Score Big Affiliate Dollars
The YES Network is projected to once again lead all regional sports networks (RSNs) in ad revenue this year, but trail six others in affiliate fees. Ad dollars are forecast to come in at $73.2
million in 2012, a 9% bump over the year before. But the network’s estimated sub fee of $3.20 a month would fall below RSNs owned by Comcast in Washington, Philadelphia and the Bay Area; a Fox
Sports outlet in Minnesota; a New England channel; and DirecTV property in Pittsburgh.
Comcast SportsNet Washington would lead 37 RSNs in sub fees at $4.33 a month, followed by Fox Sport North at $4.26.
Cable, satellite and telco TV operators are increasingly complaining about the cost of carrying RSNs and 31 of them are projected to charge more than $2 a month in sub fees. DirecTV has been a leader in expressing its frustration. Its RSN based in Pittsburgh is projected to garner a sub fee of $3.51 – the fourth highest in the country.
All figures come from SNL Kagan via a report from Barclays.
The fledgling Time Warner Cable-owned RSN in Los Angeles is forecast to garner $3.01 in 2013, up from the $2.98 it received last year when it launched. That’s good for eighth place.
The YES Network’s lead in ad dollars is not surprising in that the network is based in the New York area, carrying Yankees games, and has the largest RSN distribution in the country at 12.2 million.
SportSouth is second with 8.9 subscribers as it reaches across the Southeast, followed by Fox Sports Southwest at 8.3 million. Madison Square Garden Network (MSG) is in 8.1 million homes. The Time Warner Cable L.A. RSN is projected to have 6.2 million subscribers.
MSG is projected to come in second this year in ad revenue at $66.4 million, topping Fox Sports Southwest and SportsNet New York at $45.4 million and $40.2 million, respectively.
Ten RSNs are projected to garner more than $30 million in ad revenue this year. While leading in subscriber fees, Comcast SportsNet Washington would bring in $36.1 million, good for seventh. Its project to be in 4.4 million homes, 18th in the country.