The highlight of DirecTV’s 4Q earnings conference call Thurs came when the issue of RSN costs came up. For seemingly the 200th time, CEO Mike White slammed rising sports rights fees: “The sports business model is broken.” If DirecTV was to carry sports programming in the few markets that are “completely out of control” and “unaffordable for the average consumer,” the only solution is through some kind of surcharge, White said. The company started charging new subs in markets like LA and NY a $3 monthly surcharge last year to justify sports costs. Beginning this spring, the company will charge existing subs in those markets, he said. More on DirecTV’s strategy, programming costs and TVE.

More top stories in today’s CableFAX Daily:

 
Chicago-based private equity firm GTCR agreed to acquire NewWave Communications from Pamlico Capital.
 
As expected, FCC chmn Julius Genachowski announced that the Dept of Housing and Urban Development will join Connect2Compete’s digital literacy coalition as an outreach partner.
 
Thanks to 4% YOY growth at US networks and 15% YOY growth at international networks, Discovery Communications’ 4Q revenue of $1.2K mln was up 8% YOY. But income fell. More details and analysts’ comments here.

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