The slower growth was attributable to the downturn in the advertising market and the fact that most RSNs are fully distributed and aren’t growing their subscriber bases much, if at all. Still, the results for regional sports networks were solid, given the dramatic revenue downturns seen in many other media sectors.
Monterey, Calif. (Vocus) June 17, 2010
According to data from SNL Kagan, total revenue at regional sports networks (RSNs) increased 6.6% in 2009 to $4.6 billion, slightly outperforming the 4.8% total revenue growth of basic and HD cable networks.
Excluding FOX Sports Tennessee and FOX Sports Carolinas, which spun out from Fox Sports South in 2008, the largest revenue gains were seen at Comcast SportsNet Washington (up 19.7% to $128.0 million) and Comcast SportsNet New England (up 15.1% to $90.5 million). The top RSN in terms of revenue was YES Network, followed by Madison Square Garden Network, which pulled in $417.1 million and $308.8 million, respectively, in 2009.
SNL Kagan data shows that all 36 RSNs posted positive revenue growth, illustrating the power of dual revenue streams. Although ad revenue for RSNs was down 6.0% to $608.8 million in 2009, affiliate revenue was up 9.0% to nearly $4 billion.
However, the 2009 revenue growth for RSNs was modest when compared to the more substantial rates of 10.5% in 2008 and 14.0% in 2007. As SNL Kagan Senior Analyst Derek Baine notes: “The slower growth was attributable to the downturn in the advertising market and the fact that most RSNs are fully distributed and aren’t growing their subscriber bases much, if at all. Still, the results for regional sports networks were solid, given the dramatic revenue downturns seen in many other media sectors.”
Regional sports networks were recently integrated into SNL Kagan’s TV networks coverage, which also includes basic, broadcast and pay networks. This data is available exclusively as part of the SNL Kagan Unlimited Information Service. For more information, contact SNLKaganSales@snl.com or 866.296.3743.
About SNL Kagan
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