12-11-2002, 09:27 PM
Maybe y'all already know this, but it's news to me. Frank Boal on FOX 4 in KC just reported that the Royals have signed an agreement to broadcast over 100 games next year...on cable.
There will be no local broadcasts.
keg in kc
12-12-2002, 05:37 AM
IMO, the Royals Television Network is a smart move, one that should have been done years ago. With the team as bad as it is now, though, it probably won't do them much immediate good. I don't see cable systems jumping at the chance to air Royals losses...
Royals to market their own television package (http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/baseball/mlb/kansas_city_royals/4719194.htm)
By BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
Posted on Thu, Dec. 12, 2002
The Royals are gambling they can generate more television revenue in coming years by selling their games directly to cable systems instead of continuing their relationship with Fox Sports Net.
The club launched its new approach Wednesday by announcing a five-year contract with Time Warner Cable to carry games on all 24 of its systems in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
The package must be carried in entirety by any subscribing cable systems. It will consist of 102 games next season, including two exhibition games from the Royals' new spring home in Surprise, Ariz.
The exact TV schedule will be determined later but is likely to include about 70 road games and 30 home games in the regular season.
Fox aired 82 games last season in a three-part package on Fox Sports Midwest and Channels 9 and 29 in Kansas City.
"This (new) arrangement allows us to significantly increase the number of games available to our fans," said Royals president Dan Glass, who will also serve as the chief executive officer of the club's new broadcast entity -- Royals Television Network, L.L.C.
"Our strategy is to offer a robust package of high-quality telecasts to as many parts of our television territory as possible, thus achieving our family's goal of expanding the regional presence of the Kansas City Royals."
At this point, the club appears unlikely to have any games next season on over-the-air stations. Nor will the package be available on satellite systems, such as DirecTV and Dish Network, unless those companies sign contracts.
"Royals fans need to understand that it's their cable operator who controls their availability to the (games)," said Mark Gorris, Royals senior vice president for business operations who will also serve as president of RTN.
"To the extent that we can reach a deal with those cable companies, fans will get the product. If they have any concern that the product isn't going to be available to them, they should contact their cable operator."
Bob Davis and Paul Splittorff are expected to continue as the club's TV broadcast team. Davis became the play-by-play announcer six years ago when Fox got the contract. Splittorff has been the analyst for 15 seasons.
"We'll invite them in next week for discussions," Gorris said. "Our expectation is they will be on board. They're both top-quality guys, and we see no reason for a change."
The Royals began exploring the possibility of building their own network after Fox indicated it wanted to slash its schedule of games and its $5 million annual rights fees in the next contract.
"We felt it was important," Gorris said, "to take over control of our television rights completely."
The club is seeking to negotiate contracts with more than 2,000 cable systems in its regional coverage area. That area is defined by Major League Baseball and consists of Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Iowa -- except for 18 Missouri counties in the St. Louis area.
The Royals share some areas of all six states with other teams.
The contract with Time Warner was considered the linchpin to the new venture because it supplies a majority of cable homes in the Kansas City area. The Royals hope to reach an agreement with Comcast, the area's other major cable provider.
"We are pleased to be the first cable company in the Royals' television territory to sign a distribution agreement with the Royals Television Network," said Robert Moel, president of Time Warner's operations in Kansas City.
"Our distribution of over 100 telecasts...is a prime example of our commitment to bring good entertainment value to our customers in Kansas City and other key areas of the Midwest."
Financial terms of the deal with Time Warner were not disclosed but are believed to be sufficient to allow the Royals to turn a profit next season in marketing their own games.
The overall impact of the venture is subject to the number of cable systems that join the package. But club officials concede first-year profits might not match the $5 million received last season from Fox.
"We won't judge this venture on the first year," Gorris said. "We've got to take into consideration that it's December. Budgets were already set for a lot of cable operators. Advertising is generally placed a lot earlier than now.
"This is a long-term strategy that could take a couple of years to meet the (revenue) level of Fox."
The Royals expect profits to increase as more systems carry the package in future years. The club also plans to explore the possibility of expanding their network offerings to include other sports and events.
"If this thing mushrooms," Royals owner David Glass said, "it could turn out to be a really good deal."
12-12-2002, 12:07 PM
Do you know if the games are going to be televised in Jefferson City? We have Mediacom. Basically its crap, but its all we got. Any info on this?
keg in kc
12-12-2002, 04:13 PM
Originally posted by steelerfan
Do you know if the games are going to be televised in Jefferson City? We have Mediacom. Basically its crap, but its all we got. Any info on this? Sorry, I don't know anything yet. I haven't seen a specific list of cable providers (the Royals aren't just selling to Time-Warner...). It might not be a bad idea to get in contact with your provider, though, so they know there's an interest.
12-14-2002, 10:25 AM
The director of the Royals TV Network was on Metrosports Thurs. Nite & stated they will be looking to put games on local TV after hey get the cable side square away.
In KC although nobody actually saying this it sounds like Metrosports will be televising the cable games. (Metrosports, after all, is owned by Time Warner and basically has 5 months of air time to fill after college BB.) Any over the air games I think would be aired by Ch. 38.
12-21-2002, 01:23 PM
We will win 20 of those 100 televised games. :cuss:
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