Comcast Set To Gain Ground In Local Sports, News, After TWC Buy

Comcast Merger Boost local-Sports
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Soon, Philadelphia-based Comcast could become the backer of everything from Pat Kiernan, a popular anchor on local Gotham cable-news outlet NY1 to frenzied basketball contests featuring the Los Angeles Lakers.

Comcast’s proposed all-stock purchase of Time Warner Cable, valued at $45.2 billion, has captured the attention of communities ranging from Wall Street to Madison Avenue to Hollywood, and with good reason. Comcast’s subscriber ranks could swell to as much as 30 million, taking divestitures into account, encompassing a third of the nation’s cable customers.

But the purchase is much more than a way to construct a bigger national player.

Should the proposed deal pass regulatory scrutiny, Comcast would also become more entrenched in certain geographic regions, particularly New York City and Los Angeles. Time Warner Cable has local-news operations in central and upstate New York; New York City; on systems in North Carolina; and Austin, Texas. The company has also been active in local sports recently, striking a  20-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2011 to distribute all the team’s games over two high-definition sports networks made available to subscribers in California. Nevada and Hawaii. And Time Warner Cable has an agreement with the Los Angeles Dodgers to show games on a new SportsNet LA network.

While the news networks are intertwined with their communities, and could be placed in part of the NBCUniversal portfolio, among other places, the local sports networks could prove of more immediate interest to Comcast, which has been making a play to burnish its reputation as a competitor to Walt Disney’s ESPN – and, more recently 21st Century Fox’s Fox Sports 1.

Comcast already operates 11 regional sports networks in areas ranging from the San Francisco vicinity to Baltimore, Houston and Chicago. And it owns the NBC Sports Network, a sports-cabler once known as Versus, that is has polished up with rights to NHL games as well as Premiere League soccer from overseas. The regional outlets are now part of NBCUniversal’s NBC Sports Group.

The Time Warner Cable sports outlet, known as SportsNet, would likely give Comcast a broader array of inventory to sell to advertisers seeking sports aficionados, and also give the company a strong tie to its new West Coast subscribers.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 1

Leave a Reply

1 Comment

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Check out the mega bonuses *** FREE UNLIMITED LEADS ***
    Turn $12 BECOMES $4000 PER WEEK! 100% Profitable!!
    Get immediate access to our entire course
    right now to discover an easy system
    that will give you the potential
    to make… $300 A Day and even more!

    >>>>>> Check here>WWW.BAY91.­­ℭ­­Oℳ

More TV News from Variety

Loading