DIRECTV, as part of its push to contain programming costs, is taking a hard look at the "slicing and dicing" of sports content into channels with a narrow focus, according to Patrick Doyle, the company's chief financial officer. Pay-TV operators must be "much more disciplined in how we deal with content owners and their ability to just assume distribution," including taking a more hard-line stance when programmers try to bundle less-popular channels with ones that have wider appeal, Doyle said.

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