Jewish World Review April 2, 2003 / 29 Adar II, 5763
Time to fix the cable TV sports model
Is the cable television sports model broken? If you ask Cox
Communications CEO James O. Robbins, the answer is yes.
Robbins told a cable
television public affairs association gathering in Washington on
Monday that "the entire food chain" of sports is broken and
needs to be fixed. he would prefer that Congress not come
up with a solution.
Robbins has a warning for ESPN, Fox, Turner and other networks
that carry sports. Cox is thinking of putting those channels on
an a la carte tier where customers could chose whether they
wanted the programming or not or just dropping sports
Robbins warning is not good news for team owners who depend
on cable TV revenue. In most cases, consumers have no choice
in whether they want ESPN, Fox or regional sports networks.
Robbins is correct, the system is broken. And while Robbins
doesn't want Congress to re-regulate the industry, he and his
fellow cable operators haven't provided a solution either.
It's time they do.
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JWR contributor Evan Weiner is a radio commentator on "The Business
of Sports" for Westwood One's Metro Networks. He is being presented with the United States Sports Academy's Distinguished Service Award for 2003. Comment on this column by clicking here.
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© 2003, Evan Weiner