Time Warner Cable chief operating officer Rob Marcus said
its controversial Los Angeles Lakes regional sports network - Time Warner Cable
SportsNet -- has already passed the first litmus test in its short
history: it's cheaper than a carriage deal with a third-party RSN.
At the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet and Telecom conference
in Palm Beach, Fla., Marcus said the MSO had a simple formula for its RSN
strategy: if the costs of producing the network, less the fees and ad revenue
it brought in, were lower than the affiliate fees it would have to pay a third
party RSN, it would be considered a success.
"Now having launched the network, having done our
affiliation deals with the other major distributors, having begun the process
of selling ads on the network, I can comfortably say, 'Mission Accomplished,'"
Marcus said. "The net price that we are paying for the Lakers is lower than
what we think we would have otherwise paid to a third party RSN and
significantly lower than what we pay for comparable RSNs elsewhere. I am very
pleased with the way the strategy has worked out and the approach to the
Dodgers is to take a page out of the same playbook."
TWC launched Time Warner Cable Sports Net and its sister
Spanish language channel in the Los Angeles market in October. It plans on
launching another RSN, with Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Dodgers, in the
market next year.