Regional Sports Networks, or RSNs are struggling. AT&T SportsNet will reportedly shut down later this year. Bally Sports RSNs are in bankruptcy, and their future is very much unknown right now. Now Spectrum one of the largest cable TV companies out there, reportedly plans to offer a cheaper TV package that will remove RSNs and other league-owned sports networks later this year, according to the Sports Business Journal.
In the 3rd quarter of 2023, Spectrum TV customers will have the option to pick a Spectrum Select Plus plan with RSNs or a Spectrum Select Signature plan without the local RSN. In the past, even the basic cable TV packages from Spectrum included RSNs helping Bally Sports and others be able to subsidize the RSNs.
Spectrum says they will only make these new packages available to new customers or customers looking to change their programming package. So if you want to get this cheaper package, you will have to ask for it.
Spectrum says they will also offer RSNs direct-to-consumer streaming packages. Allowing customers to subscribe to their local RSNs if they want them directly.
Charter is hoping these cheaper packages will help keep customers who are looking at cutting the cord. Many cord cutting services no longer offer RSNs helping them keep their price low. This helps cord cutting services attract subscribers who do not watch sports or at least sports offered on local RSNs.
There is one catch, though in order for Spectrum to offer these packages, all the RSNs in that market need to have agreed to a new contract with them. Currently, Spectrum has new contracts with RSNs in 85% of its markets. The remaining RSNs are coming up for renewal over the next year or so.
If this plan is successful other cable TV providers will likely copy it to offer cheaper TV packages.