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22 Reasons Why Fox Said No To Sling TV

UPDATE (April 20, 2016): Since this article was written, Fox struck a deal with Dish Network to have Fox-owned channels (including regional sports networks) as part of a separate Sling TV bundle that did not include ESPN channels. Details about this deal are at the end of this post

Last weekend, Cord Cutters News reported that Fox has no plans to add their channels to the Sling TV lineup.

Brandon White [Fox Networks Manager of Digital Distribution] made it clear that Fox has NO plans to join or compete with Sling TV; pointing out that Fox Networks current digital strategy is to bring added value to cable subscribers in an effort to keep them as cable subscribers.

If you’re not sure why Fox would want to keep its networks firmly entrenched in the traditional pay TV system, allow me to give you 22 reasons for the company’s decision:

  1. Fox Sports Arizona
  2. Fox Sports Carolinas
  3. Fox Sports Detroit
  4. Fox Sports Florida
  5. Fox Sports Indiana
  6. Fox Sports Kansas City
  7. Fox Sports Midwest
  8. Fox Sports New Orleans
  9. Fox Sports North
  10. Fox Sports Ohio
  11. Fox Sports Oklahoma
  12. Fox Sports San Diego
  13. Fox Sports South
  14. Fox Sports Southwest
  15. Fox Sports Tennessee
  16. Fox Sports West
  17. Prime Ticket
  18. Fox Sports Wisconsin
  19. SportSouth
  20. SportsTime Ohio
  21. Sun Sports
  22. YES Network

Those are all of Fox’s regional sports networks (RSNs), which have rights deals in place with a wide variety of local MLB, NBA, and NHL teams and a few college conferences. All of those channels earn millions in carriage fee money. YES Network, known to most as the “New York Yankees” channel, collected $468.5 million in carriage fee revenue alone in 2014. Fox purchased a controlling stake in YES Network last year. Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket, which own the rights to games for both Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the L.A. Clippers, collect close to $400 million per year in carriage fee revenue.

If you still have cable or satellite TV, you might have seen a “regional sports channel fee” on your bill recently. That fee is a direct result of the spiraling costs of these RSNs. YES Network charges pay TV providers $3.20/month per subscriber. Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket charge a combined $5.00/month per subscriber.

If Fox added its national cable channels, including Fox Sports 1 and 2, to Sling TV and made it more appealing to cord cutters, all those RSNs would lose out on carriage fee revenue. This is the real reason why Fox’s strategy is to “bring added value to cable subscribers in an effort to keep them as cable subscribers.” Fox would like its profitable RSN business to remain as profitable as possible.

So do all the baseball, basketball, and hockey teams that benefit greatly from pay TV subscribers that don’t watch sports. The Arizona Diamondbacks, in particular, boast of huge TV ratings, yet they only average 83,000 viewers per game despite Fox Sports Arizona being in 2.5 million homes. Outdrawing the broadcast networks in Arizona and New Mexico, however, helped the D-Backs obtain a 20-year deal with Fox worth “north of $1.5 billion” earlier this year.

Fox needs as many Arizona and New Mexico residents as possible to help pay for that contract. The exact same business model applies to the 21 other channels listed above. That’s why Fox said no to Sling TV, and while Fox will likely turn down any over-the-top TV service that doesn’t include its big-money RSNs. (Playstation Vue carries YES Network in New York.) The last thing Fox wants is to cut into its own pay TV profits.

15 Responses to 22 Reasons Why Fox Said No To Sling TV

  1. Refusing to offer streaming options to sports viewers in 2015 is like the “horse and buggy” industry fighting the automobile industry in the early 1900’s. Eventually all the fat boneheads that have 200 channel cable packages and never get off the couch will figure out how to stream “food channels” too. 200 channel packages will become a thing of the past. Committing long term to satellite and cable was a dumb move for Fox because there product can stand on its own. Those who understand that its only a matter time will profit. Those who don’t will lose. Remember the people that said cell phones are only a fad? Where are they now?


    • Take the Diamondbacks example to the extreme — all 100,000 Diamondback fans switch to Sling. 100,000 x $10 = $1,000,000 per month.

      But 2.5 million cable subscribers x $5 per month = $12.5 million per month.

      It would take 125 years to pay the Diamondbacks their $1.5 billion by just relying on Sling customers.

      • It’s not just 100,000 slingtv customers but all the cord cutters who would decide to join and pay the fee plus cable customers. Imagine being able to choose which fox network you could get in your package at $5 a piece. No brainer to me.

  3. The thing is we all will get it for free anyway. I pay my neighbor $5 per month for his user name and password for local Fox Sports Games. That is $5 that could be going to Fox. I don’t pay for cable either way. Cable is bleeding subscribers and will continue to do so. The longer Fox waits the more revenue they lose.

  4. Fox you lost my business, and so did your sponsers. I’d like to watch, and i would if i could stream it on Sling TV like i do ESPN. i also would have liked to watch the debate on fox news, like i did on CNN , but again i couldn’t watch it on sling and i’m not dumb enough to continue paying outrageous cable bills. sorry

  5. It sure shows how much they are raping us on these channel fees when they can obviously do so poorly and they can just keep on operating. Everything is in turmoil now because all in the industry see what is coming, which is net services for all of our media. All of the players are fighting each other and trying to position themselves to come out the best. At some point someone will get antsy and pull the trigger. Sling TV is one of the early shots. There will winners and losers. Hopefully with this new way we as consumers can have enough competition, which is likely without the monopoly of cable wiring, that we can forestall the media providers from getting a stranglehold on us like they sure do now.

  6. We don’t watch sports on tv enough to pay anything, it is one of the reasons we gave up pay tv. My wife does watch Fox News, so let Sling or another bundle carry Fox News. I think Fox is a much better chanel to get informed over the main networks.

    • I’m waiting for a $20 Sling package with both Fox Business and Fox News…and throw in NAtGeo and HGTV for good measure and you’ll have a new suscriber. Until then I’ll continue enjoying my OTA Tivo w/ lifetime subscription

  7. Well, you can get Fox Sports on sling now with their beta plan. You can’t add the sports package for $5 though. To get espn and fox sports you’ll need the “best of live tv” with espn $20, the “best of live tv beta” with fsn $20, and for $5 the sports add on with the other espn channels. I think i’m going Playstation Vue with an amazon firestick. Slingtv app sucked anyway.


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