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Former YES CEO: Cost Of Sports Is Why People Cut The Cord

“More than 25 million people have left cable and satellite since 2012. By the end of 2025, it is expected that another 15 million will follow.”

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People across America are learning to live without a traditional cable package. That is bad news for regional sports networks. The former CEO of one of the most valuable RSNs says those channels, and sports as a whole, are a big part of cord cutters’ motivation.

“The cost of sports is the main reason people are cutting the cord on cable. We’re learning to live without sports,” Leo Hindery, former CEO of the YES Network, recently told CNBC’s Alex Sherman.

Outside of ESPN, regional sports networks, tend to have the highest carriage fees on cable. That is to offset the costs accumulated by nabbing exclusive TV rights to major league teams. Sherman cites the research firm Kagan in pointing out that many RSNs charge cable and satellite operators more than $5 per subscriber. That, of course, forces the provider to raise customers’ rates and drives some customers away from traditional TV entirely.

More than 25 million people have left cable and satellite since 2012. By the end of 2025, it is expected that another 15 million will follow.

Sinclair’s Bally Sports RSNs were left out of the company’s most recent deal with DISH Network. That is a problem for Sinclair, but not for DISH. The company’s founder and chair Charlie Ergen recently told analysts that he doesn’t see a reason to change that position.

“We don’t have any customers calling us on RSNs today. We’re happy to talk about anything that’s creative and doesn’t harm our customers, but we’re not interested in taxing our customers when they don’t watch the channel. That doesn’t make any sense.”

Right now, industry analysts say there is no way for Sinclair to launch a reasonably priced streaming service featuring its regional sports network content. No one is cutting the cord on cable to pay what some have estimated could cost nearly $10 per month more than Netflix or HBOMax just for games. That is around what Sinclair would have to charge to make a service financially viable.

Sports TV News

After Losing Out On Big Ten Rights, ESPN Turns Focus to NCAA Championships

According to Front Office Sports, ESPN’s contract for 29 NCAA Championships ends in 2024.

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After reportedly losing out on the Big Ten’s television rights, ESPN is reportedly turning to securing the NCAA Championship rights from hitting the open market.

According to Front Office Sports, ESPN’s contract for 29 NCAA Championships ends in 2024. Those 29 championships include everything from Women’s basketball to ice hockey, wrestling, softball, and baseball. The network pays a reported $34 million for the rights to broadcast those championship events.

However, according to a study commissioned by the NCAA reveals that the women’s basketball tournament could be worth anywhere from $81 million to $112 million per year by its lonesome. The NCAA is reportedly considering selling the women’s basketball tournament rights as a standalone product in the next negotiation.

Sources told Front Office Sports ESPN remains interested in striking deals with the Pac-12 and Big 12 media rights, as well as renewing a deal for the College Football Playoff.

The news comes after Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand reported ESPN declined a final offer from the Big Ten for a portion of the conference’s media rights. The reported deal was seven years and $380 million per year.

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Sports TV News

ESPN Announces The Return of Stephen A. Smith to First Take

ESPN announced Smith will be returning to First Take on Monday, August 15th.

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Stephen A. Smith

First Take has been without it’s anchor since the day after the NBA Draft in June. That’s when the ESPN personality took some time off to undergo shoulder surgery and to rehabilitate. However, it appears the wait for his return is almost over.

ESPN announced with a tweet that Smith will be returning to First Take on Monday, August 15th. They also teased a guest appearance from Michael Irvin.

This comes a day after Smith tweeted that the countdown was on for his return and we are one week away from the event.

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Sports TV News

Field Yates Re-Ups With ESPN

After the departure of Matthew Berry to NBC, ESPN has locked down fantasy expert Field Yates with a new contract to remain in Bristol.

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Field Yates

After the departure of Matthew Berry to NBC, ESPN has locked down fantasy expert Field Yates with a new contract to remain in Bristol.

Yates, 35, would have been a valuable target for FanDuel or DraftKings, surmises Andrew Marchand of The New York Post — who first reported the news — due to his large following on Twitter.

Yates, who also works as a host of Fantasy Football Now and NFL Insider for the network, across multiple platforms including ESPN Radio, will continue in those roles in addition to an assumed expansion of fantasy football duties after Berry’s exit.

He has worked for ESPN since 2012.

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