Comcast Philly sports net strikes local content deal


Media corporations don’t get much bigger than Comcast, particularly now that it is in the network television business via its connection with NBC. But it is going granular when it comes to sports coverage in the Philadelphia area, trading pro coverage from its regional cable sports net to a local paper chain in exchange for high school sports coverage.

According to Philadelphia Business Journal, Comcast’s SportsNet Philadelphia is going to provide newspaper chain Calkins Media with coverage of major local teams, including the Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, Sixers and Union, which Calkins will be able to use at its central website.

The Comcast net will get high school sports coverage in exchange, to use on its website. The coverage comes from suburban newspapers owned and operated by Calkins, including The Bucks County Courier Times; The Intelligencer of Doylestown, Pa.; and The Burlington County Times in southern New Jersey.

Calkins high school reporters will also appear on SportsNet programs. No positions are to be eliminated due to the agreement, and both sides are looking to benefit with incremental revenue gains as a result of the information-sharing deal.

RBR-TVBR observation: Local broadcasters should do whatever they can to shore up their hold on information pertaining to their market. Comcast is wise to let its operation in Philly be local. Meanwhile, it’s a warning to other media that they must constantly see to the care and feeding of their own local connection.