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TVWeek's Deputy Editor Chris Pursell is exploring the billion dollar business of sports media. Every week he will deliver the latest insights as well as a fresh perspective along with interviews with the biggest personalities in the business.

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Carey Speaks as World Congress of Sports Convenes

March 12, 2008 12:07 PM

The movers and shakers who drive the sports industry took center stage Wednesday at the seventh annual IMG World Congress of Sports in Dana Point, Calif.

The two-day event features CEOs, chief marketing officers and chairmen addressing trends in the business.

The event opened with a roundtable of executives addressing the hot topics of the day before shifting to a one-on-one interview with Chase Carey, president and CEO of DirecTV.

Mr. Carey was quick to acknowledge that while his company was among the first to pick up sports channels such as the NFL Network and the Big Ten Network, the outlets are publicly battling cable companies over carriage fees.

DirecTV has benefited from the cable lockout of some of the sports channels, he said, with its subscriber growth jumping in those regions.

However, he said DirecTV's economics are similar to cable's and that the company is not "immune" to the costs of carrying the channels, noting that retransmission rights and sports costs were among the two biggest challenges for DirecTV.

Mr. Carey also said DirecTV is looking to be more active in acquiring broadcast rights for future sports events as well as sports with more international appeal, such as cricket and soccer.

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