Texas cable operators, looking for incremental pay-per-view
revenue, are reaping the financial windfall of several local-PPV college-football games.
The games, offered by Fox Sports Southwest, are generating
double-digit buy-rates in some instances, operators said.
Rosa Celis, PPV manager for Time Warner Cable of El Paso,
said Fox Sports' Sept. 5 University of Texas-New Mexico State University game
generated more than a 10 percent buy-rate -- the system's top-performing
PPV-college-football game ever.
Celis added that gaining the exclusive PPV rights to the
game between two local rivals helped the system in its battle against direct-broadcast
"DBS has really come in strong to this market, so [the
PPV game] really played up the value of cable because you couldn't see the game
anywhere else," Celis said.
Northland Cable Television in Bay City also pulled
impressive numbers for Fox Sports' Sept. 15 Louisiana Tech University-Texas A&M
While it's almost impossible to get a ticket to the
game, Northland was able to score points with fans of both colleges by airing it on PPV,
said Pam Vallely, office manager for the 5,500-subscriber PPV-event-only system.
"When you consider that a lot of people go to the
games, it's a lot for us," she said, "and it can only get better."
Fox is providing games via PPV that aren't carried by
the broadcast networks, by local regional cable services or in syndication. Jon Heidtke,
general manager for Fox Sports Southwest, said the games offer operators strong local
product, and they provide incremental PPV revenue to the network, the schools and cable
"We haven't seen any of the [PPV] numbers yet,
but [the games] feature teams that are very popular in the area," Heidtke added.
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