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Monday, January 21, 2013

LATimes: Dodgers TV deal could mean another sports channel for Los Angeles

Get ready, Angelenos, another regional sports network may be headed your way!

Time Warner Cable is in advanced talks with the Dodgers for a deal involving the storied franchise’s television rights. According to the Los Angeles Times, Time Warner Cable is prepared to pay upward of $7 billion for the right to be in business with the Dodgers for the foreseeable future. A contract could be announced as early as later this week. This would be the biggest local sports contract in television history.

Currently, Dodger games can be seen on News Corp.‘s Prime Ticket channel. But that deal expires at the end of the 2013 baseball season. While News Corp. is still in the hunt, right now it appears that Time Warner Cable has the lead heading into the ninth inning of negotiations with the team’s new majority owner, Guggenheim Partners.

Although Time Warner Cable also has a Los Angeles sports outlet (SportsNet), which is home to the Lakers and has plenty of room to accommodate the boys in blue, the Dodgers are hot for their own channel that they would control. Given that Guggenheim spent $2.15 billion for the team, that’s hardly a surprise. It is banking on TV money to justify that cost and if it can own the channel too, that’s more potential gravy.

Tripon Posted: January 21, 2013 at 04:26 PM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dodgers

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: January 21, 2013 at 09:05 PM (#4352212)
Huh? I thought the Dodgers-Fox deal was already in place?
   2. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: January 21, 2013 at 09:32 PM (#4352229)
Fox had exclusive negotiating rights through... end of autumn, about. But once that deadline passed, the TV rights were on the market.
   3. TerpNats Posted: January 21, 2013 at 09:36 PM (#4352232)
Someone explain to me what each of these two Time Warner channels would show out of season. Based upon MASN, I'm guessing the Dodger channel would show plenty of low-level college conferences (assuming Fox has already snapped up Pac-12 tier rights). Lots of Mountain West, WCAC and Big West action...go Anteaters!
   4. Tripon Posted: January 21, 2013 at 10:05 PM (#4352256)
Fox lost the Pac-12 rights when the Pac-12 created their own network.
   5. puck Posted: January 21, 2013 at 10:14 PM (#4352265)
So, this is about creative accounting? I too was surprised about the Time Warner talk, as I thought the Fox deal was all but done. When googling to find out what happened there, I came across this article talking about how the Dodgers were trying to structure the deal so MLB would take less money for revenue sharing.

Forbes reported that one possible scenario would have the Dodgers and Fox joining together to create the regional sports network. Fox would handle the money (ad sales) and pay the team the $84 million annual rights fee, plus the annual increases, but also would pay a guaranteed dividend of $100 million a year. It is that bonus payment that the Dodgers and baseball are at odds over, say sources. MLB argues that the payment is part of the TV revenue and therefore is subject to profit sharing. But the team believes it is a payment for the risk the owners took when they bought the team and that the payments could vary along with the value of the team, so MLB should not be able to claim it.
   6. puck Posted: January 21, 2013 at 10:20 PM (#4352270)
Would an a-la-carte pricing model be cheaper for most people?

The article gives the example of the Disney Channel being $1 per subscriber, but it would have to be higher on an a la carte model. I would guess most households think they watch a lot of different channels.

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