Last updated: May 5, 2011 - 8:27am
Rising audiences for sports events are driving a rebound in advertising revenue across US broadcast networks and cable channels, as they approach the annual “upfront” season where media buyers strike deals for new programming. Comcast, Time Warner, News Corp and CBS each cited the effect of sports programming on first-quarter earnings.
Time Warner and CBS were boosted by their NCAA college basketball partnership, while News Corp’s television profits quadrupled thanks to advertising on its Super Bowl broadcast and National Football League playoff game. Executives warned that they were alert to the increasing cost of sports rights, however. Sport was “a double-edged sword”, said Chase Carey; costs were a challenge but sport’s appeal only increased when viewers had more channels to choose from and could skip advertising on non-live programming.
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