darren rovell @darrenrovell
After long dance with Fox, hearing Time Warner is in the lead again for LA Dodgers rights.
The Dodgers are leaning toward moving their television broadcasts from Fox Sports to Time Warner Cable starting in 2014, according to people familiar with the matter but not authorized to discuss it.
The Dodgers have not made a final decision, the people said.
The Dodgers also have yet to reach agreement with Major League Baseball on how the structure of a deal would affect the team’s contribution to the MLB revenue-sharing system, according to a person familiar with the discussions but not authorized to comment on them.
With the Dodgers expected to sign the most lucrative local television contract in baseball history – perhaps worth close to $7 billion – the sides are analyzing whether the team’s revenue-sharing bill should be closer to $1 billion or $2 billion.
Mark Walter, the Dodgers’ controlling owner, and MLB Executive Vice President Rob Manfred discussed the issue at the owners’ meetings in Arizona last week. Walter did not respond to several messages; Manfred declined to comment.
The Dodgers would prefer to resolve the matter with MLB rather than refer it to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, which is empowered to settle any disputes as part of the settlement between the league and former owner Frank McCourt.
The Dodgers’ current contract with Fox expires after the 2013 season. The team had discussed a new deal with Fox last fall, worth at least $6 billion over 25 years. However, as MLB and the Dodgers discussed their differences over the revenue-sharing issue, the Fox exclusive negotiating window expired, enabling Time Warner to initiate negotiations with the team.
Fox Sports launched a second local cable channel – now called Prime Ticket – to carry the Dodgers in 1997. Fox Sports previously lost the Lakers to Time Warner Cable, and the departure of the Dodgers would leave Fox with the Angels, Clippers, Ducks and Kings as the anchor teams for two channels.
Get it done.
If TWC do end up getting the Dodgers, DirecTV better carry the channel like what they did with the Lakers. I just want a channel with Dodgers, Kings, and the Lakers for my sisters. Hell, if I can trade in the Lakers to Bulls, i'll do it in a heartbeat. Haha.
I have to say...although the Laker season has been greatly overhyped and a relative disaster to watch on the new channel...the TWC cable channel has been amazing. The picture quality has been superb on my HDTV and there is enough variety to fill the broadcast space through the day/week. Because of this, I trust TWC to be the best choice for the Dodgers...definitely NOT FOX...that would be horrible.
Access SportsNet Dodgers
#(dodgers social media show)
Sounds good to me.
Time Warner also mixes up personalities too. We have the same guys every night. I think O'Neil and Lyons should still be the main two guys but rotate some new talent around from LA Media. The Lakers have Shelburn, Ding, Ireland, Miller, Horry, and a bunch of others mixing in with McGee and Worthy.
Also, TWCSN has good graphics, better picture quality, and just a better overall production value.