In recent weeks, more and more information about the Los Angeles Dodgers new channel SportsNet LA have come to the surface. A billboard spoiled the February 25 launch date and Dodgers president Stan Kasten said yesterday all Spring Training games will air on the channel.
Kasten also reiterated that he doesn’t see problems with distribution, but Time Warner hasn’t reached out to cable and satellite providers yet. However, according to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times, MLB has formally approved the deal between the Dodgers and TWC:
MLB has approved the Dodgers’ deal with TWC, two people familiar with the matter said Wednesday. Although there has been no announcement, the Dodgers have hired on-air talent for the new channel — including former players Orel Hershiser and Nomar Garciaparra — and have reached agreement with MLB about how much television revenue the team would share with the league.
The channel calls for Dodgers coverage 24-7 and the hope is that it’s made available to fans quickly. Subscriber fees will be a hot topic, with reports suggesting they could be as high as $4 or $5 dollars. It’s been reported that the contract is for $8.5 billion over the next 25 years, similar to the Lakers television deal from last year.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers have brought in great talent for the network along with Hershiser and Garciaparra in Alanna Rizzo from MLB Network and John Hartung from ABC 7. Former Dodger Jerry Hairston, Jr. retired from the game and will also serve as an analyst for the new network.
Yesterday, the Dodgers and ace Clayton Kershaw agreed to a historic seven-year, $215 million contract and Shaikin assures that the timing of MLB approving the deal had nothing to do with it:
In June, The Times reported that the parties had agreed to value the TWC deal at $8.5 billion, with the Dodgers keeping more than $6 billion and sharing more than $2 billion with the league. The timing of Clayton Kershaw’s new $215-million contract — a record for a pitcher, expected to be announced Friday — had nothing to do with the timing of MLB approval.
Expect to see a push from the Dodgers campaigning and marketing the channel as Time Warner Cable’s next step is securing distribution with all major cable and satellite companies.
ICYMI: The Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw agreed to a record-breaking contract extension