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SBD/March 29, 2012/Media
Dodgers' Next TV Deal To Be Substantial, Likely Will Help Cover Sales Price Of Team
Published March 29, 2012
RETURN ON INVESTMENT: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir notes at some point, team owners "do want a return on their money." The Dodgers' $2.15B sale price "is enormous because the buyers anticipate a huge windfall from a new cable TV deal that would go into effect" after the '13 season. Dodgers controlling Owner and Guggenheim Partners CEO Mark Walter said, “It will be substantial.” Sandomir notes to get the "most money, the Dodgers will probably be the centerpiece of a regional sports channel that will funnel enormous annual rights fees to the team and amass monthly subscriber fees from the cable, satellite and telephone companies that will carry its games." Bevilacqua Media Company CEO Chris Bevilacqua said of the Dodgers, "The marketplace continues to escalate for valuable sports rights and they’re in the second-biggest sports market with one of the biggest sports brands in the world." He added that the bidders for the TV deal with the team "could include" News Corp., TWC, Microsoft, Apple, Google, Hulu and Netflix (N.Y. TIMES, 3/29). In L.A., Joe Flint noted while TWC and Fox will "likely be willing to pay more than double and perhaps even triple what the Dodgers are currently getting, that still may not be enough" to win the rights. If the Dodgers create their own cable sports channel, the team can "keep not only subscriber fees from cable and satellite companies, but also advertising revenue." Additionally, the Dodgers have a broadcast deal with KCAL-CBS, "which carries 50 games." Those likely will "go away because the team can get more money from cable than broadcast" (LATIMES.com, 3/28).
INTERESTED PARTIES: SportsCorp President Marc Ganis said that the Dodgers' new owners "must already have a clear plan for the team’s broadcasting future." Ganis said that co-Owner Stan Kasten is a "well-respected businessman and sports executive, and you don’t pay that price unless you have an idea of how you’ll recoup all that money." Bloomberg News reported that Fox is "set to launch a national sports network -- though insiders say it isn't imminent -- that would seem to make a deal with parent company News Corp. even more attractive" (THEWRAP.com, 3/28).