RSN Summit: VPs, GMs Address Building Value Around Live Events
Regional sports networks (RSNs) spend a great deal of money and spend a great amount of their efforts on acquiring live local sports rights. Games are the core to everything at an RSN, but in what ways are the networks building day-long, year-round value to MVPDs, subscribers, and advertisers? At SVG’s inaugural RSN Summit in Chicago, Executive Producers and General Managers from networks including Fox Sports, Comcast SportsNet, Time Warner Cable, and more discussed the state of the business, the challenges ahead, and how to take advantage of new opportunities.
Outside of games, there are many hours left in the day to program and, for many, that’s approached, in part, through news and information programming. Phil Bedella, VP/GM of Comcast SportsNet Chicago discusses how news has become a core service-offering for its viewers.
Meanwhile, Michael Connelly, SVP/EP of Fox Sports Networks takes the stance that all programming on a RSN should in some way support and build interest in live events that the networks are paying for the rights to carry. Why produce something if it doesn’t support a live event?
At KSE/Altitude Sports and Entertainment, regional sports networks are directly owned by the sports franchises whose games are produced. For that reason, Ken Miller, SVP, Production and Programming for Altitude Sports believes his network has a responsibility to build a love for players and teams to actually drive attendance to games.
Many RSNs aim to be the number one source not only for live games but for any news and programming surrounding those teams. Many approach that philosophy by offering a robust website, social, and digital content strategy. Mark Shuken, SVP/GM at TWC Regional Sports Networks believe “digital” and “social” all need to be a more direct part of the RSN ecosystem.