By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
February 1, 2013
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Time Warner Cable officially agreed to a 25-year deal worth nearly $8 billion for local TV rights to the team’s games. The deal includes plans to launch a SportsNet LA, the region’s sixth RSN, in 2014. The team will own the channel, with Time Warner providing significant production and ad sales support. Combined with a similar deal with the Lakers, TWC has $11 billion committed to new Los Angeles-area RSNs over the next quarter-century.
The deal with the Dodgers is the richest local TV sports rights deal in history, and helps justify the $2.15 billion purchase price paid for the team by a group led by Guggenheim Partners Chairman Mark Walter. However, MLB has major concerns about how much of the annual rights fee will be subject to revenue sharing. If the two sides can’t settle differences over the next few months, the issue could end up in federal court.