Last November, it appeared that Fox Sports was the clear favorite to retain the media rights for the Los Angeles Dodgers. When the story surfaced, it seemed it was just a mere formality for Fox and its owner, News Corp. to sign the papers and make an announcement. That deal was for a reported $6-7 billion over a 25 year period which is a huge hunk of change.
But since then, the Dodgers have continued talks and last weekend, the Los Angeles Times’s Bill Shaikin reported that Time Warner Cable was becoming the favorite to take over the team’s rights starting with the 2014 season. Now, we have a report from Bloomberg’s Alex Sherman and Scott Soshnick, that an announcement that the Dodgers and TWC have struck a deal could come as early as this week.
In the story, Sherman and Soshnick report that the Dodgers would receive $7 billion over a 20 year period meaning $350 million annually. Time Warner would clear an entire channel that would be devoted to the Dodgers, similar to how it is handling the Lakers with its SportsNet channel. In addition, the Dodgers would retain the full rights, Time Warner would get the rights to air the games and sell advertising on the new regional sports network.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says this could all come to a screeching halt if Fox Sports decides to match the offer providing that the Time Warner offer is a straight rights deal, which it appears is not.
Fox Sports Prime Ticket has already lost the Lakers to Time Warner and if it loses the Dodgers, then that would be a huge blow.
The plot is thickening for the Dodgers’ rights and we’ll continue to monitor.