The lineups and pricing for sports tiers vary from market to market—and some cable operators such as Cablevision, Adelphia, Cable One and Mediacom do not currently break out sports networks into separately priced tiers. Cablevision, for example, includes sports channels within its iO digital service, while Adelphia offers ESPNews, ESPN Classic, OLN, The Golf Channel, The Outdoor Channel, Speed Channel and Fox Sports Atlantic, Central and Pacific on its digital basic plus lineup; Cable One also offers the Fox Sports diginets and Fox Cable’s extreme sports network Fuel on digital plus. Here’s a sampling separately priced sports tiers from other cable operators: Bright House Networks offers a seven-channel $3.09 "Sports Pak" in its Tampa Bay, Fla., division that includes NBA TV, The Tennis Channel, The Outdoor Channel, Fuel and Fox Sports Atlantic, Central and Pacific. For customers with HDTV, there’s a $9.09 package that adds a four-channel HD Pak (INHD 1 and 2, HDNet and HDNet Movies) to the Sports Pak. Charter Communications charges $4 per digital tier, with sports channel placement varying between markets. In parts of Louisiana, for instance, Cox Sports Television is in its "Digital Family and Information" tier while Fox Sports Southwest and Speed Channel are on expanded basic. Following an April launch in its Baltimore/D.C. market, Comcast started rolling out its $5/month digital sports tier in other markets July 1. The MSO’s sports tiers include NBA TV, the soccer-centric GolTV and three Fox Sports regional diginets plus Fox Sports World. The rolling launch includes News Corp.’s TV Games horse-racing network in wagering states and on-demand programming from NBA TV. Cox Communications’ sports and information digital tier in Fairfax, Va., includes ESPNews, Fox Sports World, The Golf Channel, The Tennis Channel and NBA TV. Pricing depends on level of service; for example, Fairfax’s $68.69 "Super Plus Package" includes any three digital tiers and a choice of one digital premium. Insight Communications is relaunching its digital packages this year (as it has just done in Columbus, Ohio) to break out sports networks into a separate $5 "Sports Pak" of up to 16 channels. Sports networks are currently in its "Sports & Lifestyle Pak," including The Tennis Channel and CSTV: College Sports Television. Time Warner Cable introduced a $3.95 digital sports tier in November to its 1.4 million customers in New York and New Jersey. The six-channel package includes NBA TV, The Tennis Channel, Fuel plus Fox Sports Atlantic, Central and Pacific. (Barry Rosenblum, president of Time Warner Cable of New York and New Jersey, commented at launch: "The goal is to keep prices low to drive penetration.") In Time Warner’s Rochester system, a $4.95 six-channel sports tier includes the Empire Sports Network, which offers Buffalo Sabres hockey games; The Tennis Channel; NBA TV; and Fox Sports Atlantic, Central and Pacific.

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RDOF Auction Ready to Begin

Thursday marks the start of bidding in the FCC ’s Phase 1 Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) auction, with 386 applicants qualified to bid for up to $16bln over 10 years to provide broadband to wholly

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