Sports content costs for pay-TV set to accelerate

DetailsMichelle Clancy | 25 January 2015

The cost of sports content for pay-TV operators – surprise, surprise – is set to accelerate, according to a new report by SNL Kagan.

In the past 20 years the average availability of cable channels for consumers has gone from 27 channels to more than 100 today, with costs increasing 2% annually over that time. In stark contrast, sports network costs have risen at about 5.1% annually.

Average network cost meanwhile has gone from an average of 26 cents per channel per month to 39 cents. Sports nets specifically average about $1.03 per customer per month, led by ESPN, which commands a dominating $6.04 per subscriber per month.

As Multichannel News, which has an exclusive on the report, pointed out, that compares with 81 cents for film channels, 39 cents for general and variety networks and 29 cents for family/kids’ channels.

SNL Kagan estimates that fees will snowball to an 7.3% annual rate of increase between last year and 2018