TWC SportsNet architect David Rone to step down

Time Warner Cable Sports President David Rone, the architect behind the operator's struggling regional sports network strategy, is stepping down, according to the Sports Business Daily.


The trade said TWC (NYSE: TWC) will not replace Rone when he steps down at the end of October. He'll reportedly remain a consultant with TWC through the end of 2015. TWC has not yet responded to FierceCable's inquiry for confirmation and comment.

Formerly with Hollywood's powerful Creative Artists Agency, Rone joined TWC in 2011, helping successfully launch TWC SportsNet, the RSN that has the exclusive local TV rights to the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers. He also oversaw the launch of the Spanish-language TWC Deportes.

Fortunes went south with the 2014 launch of TWC SportsNet L.A., an RSN built on the back of a 25-year, $8.35 billion deal with baseball's Los Angeles Dodgers. To date, TWC has yet to secure a carriage deal for the channel with DirecTV (NYSE: T) or any other pay-TV operator, beyond itself, that has significant video subscribers in the Southern California region. 

In September, TWC announced the cancellation of some non-game SportsNet programming, as well as layoffs for 30 employees at its Southern California regional sports networks.

TWC revealed earlier this year that its inability to secure carriage for SportsNet LA on DirecTV -- which controls about 1.2 million subscribers in the Los Angeles region -- is costing the operator around $100 million a year. 

In June, shortly after announcing a deal to acquire TWC, Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR) agreed to carry the regional sports network. That added only around 300,000 homes to the channel's base. The channel is still only in roughly half of Los Angeles area pay-TV homes.

For more:
- read this Sports Business Daily story (sub. req.)
- read this Los Angeles Times story

Related articles:
TWC cuts programs, staff on SoCal regional sports networks, including SportsNet LA
TWC has no plans to put SportsNet LA on broadcast TV again for Dodgers pennant drive
DirecTV says Charter got a deal to carry TWC SportsNet LA