Monday, August 22, 2011, 10:08 AM ET|Posted by Will RichmondAn article in the NY Times over the weekend, "Regional Sports Networks Show the Money," highlighted the mega-profitable and symbiotic relationship between marquee sports teams/conferences and the regional sports networks (RSNs) they have spawned. RSNs aren't new, but as the article pointed out, teams and conferences are getting increasingly creative and aggressive about their TV rights, in turn driving up the fees pay-TV operators and ultimately subscribers are required to pay. All of this suggests that RSNs are becoming pay-TV's Achilles Heel especially when it comes to non-sports fans.
This is a topic I covered back in January, in "Not a Sports Fan? Then You're Getting Sacked For At Least $2 Billion Per Year" and subsequently in "Time Warner Cable-LA Lakers Deal Is More Bad News For Pay-TV's Non-Sports Fans," in each case noting that as sports programming fees drive pay-TV rates ever higher, some portion of non-sports fans will eventually defect for lower-cost entertainment-centric options (e.g. Netflix, Hulu, over-the-air/ antenna reception, etc.).