Monday, January 28, 2013

A Dodgers Channel, SportsNet LA, Coming to a Television Near You

As has been widely reported today, Time Warner is the victor in the Dodgers cable television race.  Via a press release from Time Warner as shared by JP Hoornstra at 'Inside the Dodgers' blog:
The Los Angeles Dodgers ownership group created American Media Productions, LLC (AMP) in December 2012 to launch a new Los Angeles Dodgers regional sports network. Today, AMP announced its plans for SportsNet LA, the new regional television home for the Los Angeles Dodgers beginning with the 2014 Major League Baseball season. In addition to being the exclusive local home for all of the Dodger games, SportsNet LA will provide comprehensive behind-the-scenes Dodger programming, featuring more insights, analysis and commentary about the team than ever available before.

Time Warner Cable (TWC) has agreed to be SportsNet LA’s charter distributor, and will carry the new network for its customers throughout Southern California and Hawaii under a long-term affiliation deal. In addition, in return for agreeing to make payments over the life of the deal, TWC will be the exclusive advertising and affiliate sales agent for the new network and will have certain branding and programing rights with respect to the network. TWC will also provide certain non-game production and technical services to AMP.
At long last, a Dodger-centric network to call our own.  Details of the exact financial arrangements have yet to be revealed, but previous reports have indicated that it may be as large as $8Billion over a 25 year period.  This value kind of diminishes the argument that the current owners paid too much.  Obviously, that was not the case.  Furthermore, as a fanatic Dodger fan I can't be too angry that cable rates in the region may be going up, as a result.  After all, at least for me, rates would be going up for a program I am sure to enjoy.  Anyway, Dodgers President Stan Kasten had this to say about the deal, via a Dodgers Press Release:
“The launch of the new regional sports network is a historic development for the Dodgers and our passionate fans,” said Stan Kasten, CEO of the Los Angeles Dodgers. “Our commitment from day one has been to build the Dodgers into the best team possible, both on and off the field. Our fans deserve the best - the best players, the best baseball, and the best experience - whether that’s at the newly renovated Dodger Stadium or on television.”

“Our mission is to have the most fan-friendly sports programming, and we welcome ideas and suggestions from our Dodger Community. We look forward to sharing updates with fans in the coming months. In the meantime, we remain very excited about the upcoming 2013 season where we will be showcasing our incredible new roster and the many enhancements to Dodger Stadium, as well as continuing our commitment to broadcast excellence with our current partners Fox Sports and KCAL 9.”

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