Mon. Apr 19th, 2021

TV Consultant: Cable Networks See Value In Dropping RSNs

Sports TV is at a crossroads between streaming and cable.

In a volatile time for cable television, plenty of fans feel stuck in the middle between the past and the future. All while they have no way to watch their teams. 

The pandemic’s financial impact has prompted cable providers to drop regional sports networks across the country. This leaves local fans in a tough spot if they want to watch their team at their house.

The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch fielded a question on the topic in his weekly mailbag. Deitsch talked to sports TV consultant Lee Burke, who has worked with the NBA, NFL, and MLB, among other leagues.

“They (cable providers) seem to be hoping that the decreased programming expense will outweigh any subscriber losses,” Burke said. “Younger, tech-savvy viewers aren’t ever going back to traditional pay-TV, Even though most of these services still carry RSNs.”

Burke went onto hammer home his theory that sports and entertainment need to be offered “directly to the consumer,” but current TV relationships with leagues restrict that.

“These sports battles will continue to play out,” Burke said. “With a growing number of viewers forced to look elsewhere for their favorites.”

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