Everyone wants to be ESPN. The Disney-owned sports group, with several US cable/satellite TV channels, a broadcast network (ABC), an online platform, a radio network, international channels, and even a magazine, can pretty much grab the rights to any sports event it wants. If it's not on ESPN, chances are the network doesn't want it.
The success of ESPN has caused other network's sports groups to spend crazy money to compete with the self-proclaimed “Worldwide Leader in Sports”. So far, to less than stellar results.
Two of those other networks, CBS and NBC, have launched sports nets of their own. CBS turned its College Sports Network into a general sports-themed outlet. Have you ever watched anything on the CBS Sports Network? Do you even know where it is on your dial? Didn't think so.
You may know where this network is only because, here in the Bay Area, Comcast has placed it on its basic lineup. Other systems have it way up in the sports tier stratosphere.
And that's part of why the others can't compete with ESPN. The Bristol, Connecticut-based broadcaster got onto cable systems early when all there was was the basic lineup. And it stayed there, adding its companion nets over the years, the Deuce, News, the U.
Because of its prominence, ESPN commands upwards of $5 per subscriber from systems that carry it. CBS and NBC get less than a dollar per sub.
But now someone else is taking a stab at the “Worldwide Leader”. And this “newcomer” may have the best shot at competing.
Who? Stay tuned.