Cable has outpaced broadcast networks in the upfront market over the past five TV seasons, with cable's portion of upfront revenues growing to 50.5%, according to Media Dynamics. "The 2015-16 season should be the most significant upfront in years," Media Dynamics President Ed Papazian said.
Four regional sports networks will launch or add programming this year. Time Warner Cable's Los Angeles RSN will launch in the fall with Lakers and Galaxy games, while the Pac-12 Network plans an August start in time for the college football season. Comcast SportsNet's Houston RSN starts this fall with the Rockets and adds the Astros in 2013. Fox Sports San Diego is finalizing a deal to air Padres games this season.
Time Warner Cable will pay $55 million for the TV rights to air Los Angeles Galaxy soccer matches for 10 years, starting next season. Fox Sports West, which currently airs the team, did not want to compete with Time Warner Cable's terms. Time Warner Cable already had won the rights to air the Los Angeles Lakers starting in 2013, via an offer of $3 billion over 20 years.
A report by Turner Broadcasting says basic cable will beat broadcast in aggregate primetime household ratings for the first time in the 2003-04 TV season. Turner research chief Jack Wakshlag said broadcast's dependence on reality programming has begun to backfire.