At the same time, its subscriber base, and the revenue that generates from subscription fees and ad sales, has been melting.
ESPN’s proposed solution is a surprising one: It is going to put itself on the hook for even more expensive sports deals.
Fox has 22 RSNs across the country, which have deals with 44 pro sports teams to deliver local games to cable TV subscribers that carry the networks.
For instance, buying up the Fox sports channels means those local deals won’t end up in the hands of someone else, like Comcast’s NBCUniversal*, or a theoretical tech bidder like Amazon or Apple.
Adding dozens of teams and territories should make life better for ESPN’s sales force, who can tell advertisers they can deliver even more valuable sports eyeballs.
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