The Los Angeles Dodgers announced they would start a regional sports network along with Time Warner Cable (TWC) on Monday. The two parties came to terms on a deal reportedly worth $7 to $8 billion over 25 years, making it the most lucrative television deal in the history of sports. Major League Baseball must approve the deal for it to become official.
Starting in 2014 the new regional channel, SportsNet LA, will be the “exclusive local home for all of the Dodger games” and “provide comprehensive behind-the-scenes Dodger programming, featuring more insights, analysis and commentary about the team than ever available before.”
TWC will be SportsNet LA’s distributor and, as of now, TWC customers in Southern California and Hawaii will get the channel. TWC is also the home of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Mark Walter, Chairman of the Los Angeles Dodgers, said the team “concluded last year that the best way to give our fans what they want – more content and more Dodger baseball – was to launch our own network.”
“Just as we are actively transforming the team and the stadium, we want the Dodgers to be exhibited on the very best sports network in the country – one that will provide an unrivaled fan experience,” Walter said in a statement.
David Rone, President of Time Warner Cable Sports, said the “Dodgers have one of the most passionate and loyal audiences in sports, and we look forward to helping deliver this new network to their fans.”
“This deal, like our Lakers deal, furthers our efforts to attain greater certainty and control over local and regional sports programming costs,” he said.
Last year, Guggenheim Partners, an ownership group led by Laker great Earvin “Magic” Johnson, bought the Dodgers from owner Frank McCourt, who was reviled by Dodger fans, for a record $2.3 billion.