Reports are out that ESPN is planning on charging non-ESPN owned and operated stations cash on top of barter for affiliations. Of course this will all be on a sliding scale based on market size, but the figure could be as much as $100,000 in the top 30 markets. Talk about leveraging a brand…as one syndication veteran has said “it’s good if they can get it”, but could the timing be worse? There will be a lot of pens to paper in the smaller markets figuring out if the Mouse brand is worth it.
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