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.
April 19, 2011 |
After negotiating seriously with ESPN and Turner Sports, the NHL signed a new 10-year television deal that will keep games on NBC and Versus, where they have been for six years. The deal is worth $2 billion, according to two people with knowledge of the negotiations who could not speak publicly. In the expiring contract, Versus paid the NHL about $75 million per year. NBC, however, split profits with the league and paid no rights fees. That will change, although Dick Ebersol, chairman of the NBC Sports Group, declined to be specific Tuesday.
September 26, 2012 |
The turtles are being unleashed in the nick of time. On Saturday morning, Nickelodeon will take the lid off a slicker, hipper version of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. " The armed reptiles, a hugely popular cartoon franchise in the '80s and '90s, are the latest effort by the children's network to combat a dramatic ratings plunge. Over the past year, Nickelodeon has lost 28% of its young audience, according to ratings firm Nielsen. The network's signature programming, "SpongeBob SquarePants" and tween sensation "iCarly," have lost cache with kids who are turning to other channels and other entertainment such as video games.
July 11, 2012 |
As Mike Sorrentino, star of MTV's "Jersey Shore," would put it, DirecTV and Viacom have a situation here. DirecTV dropped more than a dozen cable networks owned by Viacom including MTV, Nickelodeon, BET and Comedy Central on Tuesday night after the satellite distributor was unable to reach a new fee arrangement with the media giant to continue carrying its channels. Although the two sides are continuing to negotiate, analysts said the dispute could drag on for weeks. "I think it's going to take a while," said Nomura analyst Michael Nathanson.
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.