April 13, 2004
I don't know if any of you caught this, but Mark Dayton brought a meeting together between Victory Sports and Charter, Comcast and Mediacom for a 1 1/2 meeting this morning. And from what I can gather from the article, I actually think something got accomplished at this meeting. For one thing they found out that about all that stands between them and a deal is money:
"The good news is the differences seem to be entirely about money," said Dayton, referring to the fact operators have balked at Victory's per-subscriber asking price. "It is not a matter of principle or technological impediments. The bad news is they don't seem to be close to an agreement.
"One of the participants said, 'The difference is not a crack in the sidewalk, but rather the Grand Canyon.'"
The fact of the matter is, Victory needs to lower it's asking price. $2.20 is too much and based on what I've read rivals ESPN in terms of per user fees. The sad thing is, I would give up ESPN for Victory. That is how bad I want this station. According to Victory the cable companies haven't even made them an offer. In various interviews I've read with Kevin Catoor, president of Victory, the cable companies say "Your price is too high," but then they don't make a counter offer. If I was a cable company I would say we'll pay Victory as much as we pay FSN. That is substantially lower than the $2.20 per subscriber Victory wants (I think around $1.70, somebody please correct me if I'm wrong), but at least it is a start. In conclusion, let me say how happy I am Mark Dayton is taking the time to make something happen. Isn't it amazing that our U.S. Senator is doing this?
Secondly we have an article saying stadium hearings were delayed today due to the death of Jim Vickerman's son. That is very sad and I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say we wish the Vickerman family the best during this difficult time. The end of the article also states:
"Meanwhile, Rep. Ron Abrams, R-Minnetonka, chairman of the Houses Taxes Committee, said Tuesday that his committee will probably begin hearings on all three stadiums the week of April 26."
That is when the real fun will begin. If this bill can get through the Taxes committee reasonably intact it will probably pass the House and actually work. Jim in St. Paul, have you heard anything regarding the scuttlebutt coming out of Pawlenty's office? Have Pawlenty and Abrams met yet?