Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Philadelphia Sports Media Market

4. Philadelphia

2.9 million Television Households

In 1996, Comcast-Spectacor was formed through a joint venture between Comcast (66%) and Ed Snider (34%). The venture controls the Flyers and 76ers, Comcast SportsNet, Wachovia Center, Philadelphia Spectrum, a variety of smaller pro teams, and several facilities/food services management companies. This became the starting point for Comcast's expansion of its Regional Sports Business. The Phillies are also distributed on Comcast SportsNet, CN8, and the local UPN affiliate.

Comcast SportsNet has been able to evade must-carry rules which would ordinarily dictate that DBS distributors would have access to the channel. As a cable-only channel, it has successfully argued that making itself available via DBS would cause it undue financial harm due to the necessary investment in uplink facilities. Understandably, this has been a thorn in the side to DirecTV and DISH (who once tried to sue).

This region is an example of the local team having a poor leverage position in negotiations for sports rights due to the fact that the RSN is controlled by the local cable monopoly. This is evidenced by the Philies having relatively meager local TV rights revenue in relation to its peers. Only 7 MLB teams have lower revenue per person (local population).

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