December 8, 2011 |
Call it a cable squeeze play. Cable television networks may be the most lucrative divisions of many large media companies, but the networks are beginning to feel the pinch of dramatically higher programming costs. In 2006, TV sports giant ESPN spent $3.5 billion on programming for its flagship channel. This year, the channel's content costs have mushroomed to $5.2 billion — a nearly 50% jump from five years ago, according to consulting firm SNL Kagan. Programming expenses for Time Warner Inc.'s TNT channel have soared 55% since 2006 to $1.1 billion this year, propelled by sports rights fees for NBA and NCAA basketball as well as a lineup of original dramas including "The Closer" and "Falling Skies.
September 3, 2013 |
Cord-cutting continues to nibble away at the U.S. pay-TV industry. According to a SNL Kagan report released Tuesday, the industry suffered a net loss of 217,000 subscribers in the second quarter of this year compared to the same period last year. The report also showed that traditional cable companies -- including Time Warner Cable -- are losing more subscribers to satellite and telecommunications competitors that also offer video service. The report illustrated why Time Warner Cable had little choice but to settle its contentious dispute with CBS Corp., which led to a monthlong blackout of CBS-owned stations in Los Angeles, New York and Dallas.
August 14, 2013 |
Fox Sports 1 has struck agreements with three major distributors that will ensure that the new cable network will be available in the majority of pay-TV homes when the network launches this Saturday, people familiar with the matter said. The three carriers -- satellite broadcasters DirecTV and Dish and cable operator Time Warner Cable -- all have agreed to carry Fox Sports 1 when it launches. Those three distributors combined reach over 40 million homes. A Time Warner Cable spokeswoman said it would have the channel on its systems when it launches.
November 5, 2012 |
Cablevision Systems Corp. has signed a long-term distribution deal to carry broadcast and cable networks owned by Comcast's NBCUniversal unit. The agreement includes broadcast networks NBC and Telemundo as well as cable channels USA, Bravo, MSNBC, CNBC and NBC Sports Network. Cablevision has more than 3 million subscribers, primarily in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The NBCUniversal accord is Cablevision's third in recent months with a major content supplier. It has also signed agreements with CBS and Walt Disney Co. All the deals were reached without customers losing any signals, which often happens during these negotiations, including when Cablevision and News Corp.
November 6, 2009 |
The cost of travel has really gone through the roof. Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. has bought a majority stake in the Travel Channel from Cox Communications Inc. in a cash-and-debt deal that values the little-watched cable network at $975 million. Scripps is betting the channel will be a good fit with its other lifestyle networks, including Home & Garden TV and its majority stake in Food Network (which also counts Los Angeles Times parent Tribune Co. as an owner). The steep price caught many analysts by surprise.
November 23, 2011 |
ESPN has a new skipper. Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert Iger on Tuesday announced he was elevating John Skipper to lead the company's sports programming juggernaut. For the last six years, the former Rolling Stone and Spin magazine executive has been in charge of programming and production across ESPN's phalanx of media platforms, including its TV channels, radio network and the Internet. Skipper, 55, will become ESPN president and co-chairman of the Disney Media Networks, replacing George Bodenheimer, who has been running Disney's most profitable division for 13 years.