Detroit Sports Media Market
1.95MM TV households
The original RSN in Detroit was Pro-Am Sports System (PASS). In 1997, Fox Sports Net was rolling up its regional sports business and was faced with a decision of what to do in the Detroit market. The logical option was to acquire PASS, but the proposed purchase price was so high that Fox simply decided to take over the business by acquiring the local sports rights itself, thus putting PASS out of business. Not a very good negotiating strategy on the part of PASS...
Fox eventually acquired the rights to all 3 professional sports teams in the market, and now has a long-term lock on the rights in a market dominated by Comcast. A couple of years back Fox gained an even stronger foothold by acquiring the rights to nearly all of the local Red Wings games, which had been on local broadcast station WKBD. In non-lockout years, the Red Wings are the pre-eminent ratings draw in the Detroit Metro area (and basically all of Michigan). Fox's acquisition of these games has effectively kept Comcast from launching a sports channel in Detroit.