At Thursday’s Variety Sports Summit, Fox Sports Media Group COO Randy Freer called the idea of buying cable channels a la carte a “fantasy.”
Answering questions following his Summit keynote, Freer said the value of the traditional cable channel bundle is underestimated and that a la carte “doesn’t work.” His words come as some distributors have raised fears that the rapid trajectory of programming costs, largely courtesy of sports networks, will cause subscribers to cut the cord en masse for cheaper Internet TV options or free over-the-air broadcast channels.
Fox Sports 1 and 2 are set to launch this Saturday, August 17. Analysts predict subscriber fees for FS1 could triple in the short term.
Read more at Variety.
Brief Take: Freer contradicted a la carte advocates who he claimed find “that this television bundle has somehow become too complicated.” But the greater danger to the traditional model is not complexity but affordability. If anything, an a la carte model is more complicated than the bundle model, but it’s also cheaper, and that’s a big draw for viewers tired of paying exorbitant fees for sports channels they don’t watch.