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Liberty Sports rebrands

fsnLiberty Sports has completed its split from Liberty Media Corporation.  It has now combinded with DirecTV Group and Liberty Entertainment, Inc.  Basically from this, they are now rebranded as DirecTV Sports Network.  The newly named DirecTV Sports Network is comprised of FSN Northwest, FSN Pittsburgh, and FSN Rocky Mountain.  Consolidating all their figures, the three FSNs now reach more than 8.5 million viewers dispersed across 17 states, owning exclusive programming rights to more than twenty-five teams and conferences.

While each will keep its own network brand and continue with its existing programming, this is a major move in the cable/satellite industry.  First, it shows that both cable and satellite providers can work together to achieve Pareto efficiency.  Second, and a bigger point, this could signal a move of more FSNs and other regional programming to fall under DirecTV or others.  This would circumvent the issue of bringing regional programming to viewers in different areas, opening more avenues for more packages, which ultimately leads to higher revenues and profits.

DirecTV isn’t dumb, they know the way to profits are through sports.  With people not even going to movies anymore at $12-15 a pop, why not stay home and watch a game for pennies?  As long as DirecTV keeps pulling off deals like this, they will stand toe to toe with DISH Network.  That being said, DISH needs to take notice of this and maybe pull of a similar move.  They cannot allow DirecTV to corner the regional sports market like how Comcast has done in the cable industry.

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