The skyrocketing rights fees for national, regional, and local sports-television packages in the United States have made headlines over the last few years. While the multibillion-dollar national rights for the National Football League drew the most attention, similar deals at the regional and local levels are just as important for other professional sports leagues and teams as well as collegiate conferences. This study focuses on the transformation of regional sports networks and professional sports between 2000 and 2015. This analysis found clear trends, including the migration of local television rights from fee-to-air to pay platforms; the dramatic increases in both the rights paid for in such packages and the cost for local television households; and the concentration of ownership of these regional networks in three major conglomerates: Twenty-First Century Fox (Fox Sports Networks), Comcast (NBC Sports Regional Networks), and AT&T (AT&T/DirecTV Sports Networks)


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pp. 141-168
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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