Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Comcast Sportsnet dumps FSN programming

Thanks to work from several sources (Curt Pires of CAP Sports Group, Ken Fang of Fang's Bites and John Ourand of Sports Business Journal), we were able to confirm that Comcast Sportsnet has indeed dumped FOX Sports Net programming from their five regional sports networks that carry the programming (Bay Area, Chicago, Mid-Atlantic, New England & Philadelphia).

Could this be why the Big 12 television lineup has not been announced?  Possibly.  FOX could be trying to clear those games on alternate networks, either nationally or regionally in those markets.  For example, FOX Sports Local does have a partnership with NESN for news content.  MASN could be an option, but FOX could be negotiating with Comcast.

FSN did lose a large amount of collegiate programming when the Pac-12 and FOX moved its content to F/X and FOX broadcast network.  The Big 12 covers some of the losses in football, but the loss in basketball was approximately 30 men's games and several women's games.

Fans who are in market for CSN Mid-Atlantic and CSN Chicago are the ones who are concerned.  CSNMA would serve pockets of fans who are West Virginia, Marshall and East Carolina fans & CSN Chicago would have some effect, as I understand it, towards Iowa St. fans.  Iowa St. & ECU appear to have been tentatively set for FSN telecasts during week one.  In general, it affects anyone who wishes to watch these games.

Will be interesting to see whether fans who are in market for the five RSNs are also blacked out of FSN content by paying for sports packages on satellite or telco operators.  The interesting thing is that the dispute isn't between the cable op/telco/satellite provider and a channel, like when Dish Network and FSN had a dispute, but between a channel and its content provider.  Bears watching.


bigddan11 said...

Comcast is being stupid and penalizing one of their own employees with this move. Does Comcast not realize that Dan Patrick himself is a NBC Universal employee? Did Comcast forget that Dan Patrick is part of the NBC Sports Group just as they are?

Matt Sarzyniak said...

Understood, but the radio/TV show isn't owned by Comcast. DirecTV Sports holds the rights and runs the TV show and sells it to FSN. Premiere Radio was sold the radio distribution rights.

Dan's situation is truly unique because of the very independent setup of the show.

Either way, because no one really noticed the programming was gone for about 10 days and because neither side was engaging in negative press towards each other, they're probably working on a new deal.

Jason Garnatz said...

In Iowa, the only one who will be hurt by this is cable customers in on the Eastern side of the state as CSN Chicago is the primary RSN that is offered.

Serge said...

But Matt... if this is the holdup for Big XII football announcements, does it also involve ESPN? Because I don't recall the WWL publishing its Big XII schedule for this year.

Matt Sarzyniak said...

Short of the Longhorn Network, ESPN doesn't have much to announce. ESPN already filled its 1st three weeks and took the Red River Shootout, West Virginia-Iowa St. and (likely) TCU-Texas.

FOX has the lions share for the opening weeks. What I have on my site is based on timeslots for games from FOX's original press release in June, plus what some of their RSNs inadvertantly list. Week 3 has been updated based on one of those inadvertant listings.