The Los Angeles Dodgers and Time Warner Cable on Monday announced plans to launch SportsNET LA, a new regional television network dedicated to the baseball team, in 2014.
The Dodgers, long hosted on Fox Sports, recently finalized a deal with Time Warner Cable to broadcast games.
Analysts told TheWrap the deal will provide a massive injection of advertising revenue to the cable provider as it airs the team's game coverage to customers throughout Southern California and Hawaii. The long-term, exclusive agreement, is reported to be worth up to $7 billion.
"We 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," Mark Walter, chairman of the Dodgers, said in a statement. "Just as we are actively transforming the team and the stadium, we want the Dodgers to be exhibited on the very sports network in the country — one that will provide an unrivaled fan experience."
Terms of the deal between the Dodger's financial-firm owner Guggenheim Partners and Time Warner Cable's were not disclosed and are subject to certain closing conditions.
In 2011, Time Warner snatched a 20-year deal for the broadcasting rights for the National Basketball Association's Los Angeles Lakers away from rival Fox Sports. Fox's broadcasting deals with the Lakers and Dodgers went back nearly two decades.
"We are greatly pleased that Time Warner Cable, the largest distributor in the marketplace, has come aboard to support the Dodgers and SportsNet LA as our charter distributor," Todd Boehly, the principle owner of American Media Productions, the Guggenheim subsidiary managing SportsNet, said in a statement. "Their presence in Los Angeles will be invaluable in helping us serve Dodger fans and our community with excellence."
Evolution Media Capital and Guggenheim Securities advised on the deal, along with a foursome of law firms: Davis Polk & Wardwell, Foley & Lardner, O'Melveny & Myers and Winston & Strawn.
"We are delighted to support the Dodgers and their ownership group in their launch of SportsNet LA," David Rone, president of Time Warner Cable Sports, said in a statement. "The deal, like our Lakers' deal, furthers our efforts to attain greater certainty and control over local and regional sports programming costs."