Charter will offer a cheaper cable TV option without sports
Charter will offer a cheaper cable TV option without sports

In this photo illustration, the Charter Communications logo is displayed on a smartphone screen.

Rafael Enrique | Sopa Images | Light Rocket | Getty Images

change is coming Chartered Communications‘ Cable TV packages — especially sports networks.

cable and broadband companies explain On Monday, the company plans to start offering a new two-tier cable package system that will allow customers to choose a cheaper, sports-free TV option.

The key move comes as the industry has been grappling with the growing number of people opting to ditch cable TV for streaming services. That has weighed heavily on sports channels and hit regional sports networks, which have long offered leagues and teams lucrative fees, especially against the odds.

Diamond Sports Group, owner of the largest portfolio of regional sports networks, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year. Other networks have launched direct-to-consumer streaming options at prices that won’t upend the long-running lucrative pay-TV model. But they’re generally considered expensive for consumers and could turn off would-be streaming customers.

Charter, which has two regional sports networks of its own, is looking to change that model. Starting in the third quarter, its Spectrum-branded cable TV business will be relaunched as two new services, the company said.

Spectrum Select Plus will include the provider’s entire sports programming and regional sports networks, while Spectrum Select Signature will exclude certain sports programming at a lower rate.

Both options will be available across most of Charter’s US operations, depending on market conditions.

Customers who select certain sports programming options will receive free direct-to-consumer streaming apps from local sports networks in their area. Charter will also be able to market and sell these regional sports network apps to its broadband-only customers.

“This new model paves the way for replacing the outdated sports packaging model with a more flexible approach and a focus on on the client.” Released.

Historically, sports network agreements have required publishers to pay for content rights and make their programming available to the vast majority of subscribers (often more than 80%), the company noted. This is true even though many of these customers never open the channel.

Pay TV bills often break down regional sports network fees.national sports networks such as disneyESPN is known to be one of the most expensive TV programs to run for pay-TV distributors like Charter and DirecTV.

Charter noted that the new two-tier system could still give sports fans what they want while offering more affordable options for non-sports viewers. The company also said the model supports sports networks that are pursuing streaming options.

As a distributor and owner, Charter faced the same issues that sports networks face. The company inherited two regional sports networks — Spectrum SportsNet and SportsNet LA — that broadcast Dodgers and Lakers games when it acquired Time Warner Cable in 2016. Charter also plans to roll out streaming alternatives for these channels.

Additionally, Charter and DirecTV on Monday announced new distribution deals for sports networks in those regions.

As part of the deal, Charter agreed to “significantly lower the barrier to penetration,” which would allow DirecTV to “better target subscribers who want to watch the Lakers and Dodgers.” It will also allow DirecTV to offer a cheaper, more flexible option for customers not interested in sports.

Spectrum Networks executive Dan Finnerty said in a report Press Releases Regular-season sports remained popular early Monday, even as viewing habits were changing.

“Having said that, given that these customers represent a relatively small percentage of the overall video user base, and recognizing the significant increase in direct-to-consumer options, RSN’s model needs to evolve to reflect the realities of the current market,” he said . Finnerty, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Spectrum Networks. “Through this agreement, we will take steps to change our business model so that customers have more control.”


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