Senior VP, National Accounts, Disney and ESPN Media Networks Group
By Brian Moran -- Broadcasting & Cable, 2/27/2012 12:01:00 AM
At nearly $5 per subscriber per month, ESPN already is by far the most expensive channel available. Connolly will need to extract even higher fees to keep the net’s programming on the air and other digital platforms, at a time when distributors are getting hammered with pushback from customers frustrated about their bills.
Carriage renewal negotiations can be nasty. Connolly, highly regarded for his ability to find common ground, will need all of his collaborative talents to win renewals on expiring deals with partners said to include Dish Network, Charter and AT&T. One positive sign: Disney/ESPN’s groundbreaking 10-year agreement in January with Comcast, which analysts estimate could bring in $20 billion in revenue.
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