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SBD/January 29, 2013/Media
MLB's Revenue-Sharing Concerns Could Impact Dodgers' TV Deal With Time Warner Cable
Published January 29, 2013
COVERING ALL THE BASES: In L.A., Bill Shaikin noted the Dodgers -- not TWC -- will "program the new channel." TWC execs said that they believed the SportsNet L.A. name "would be distinctive enough from the Time Warner Cable Sportsnet name given to the new Lakers channel." The Dodgers deal "does not include a separate Spanish-language channel." For TWC, the rationale for the Dodgers deal is "similar to the rationale for the Lakers deal -- pay a lot to cut out the middle man and secure access to a popular team for decades." However, TWC Exec VP and Chief Video & Content Officer Melinda Witmer said that there is "no guarantee the company will make money on the Dodgers deal" (LATIMES.com, 1/28). In N.Y., Richard Sandomir writes the Dodgers’ deal "shows a company simultaneously at work in two roles: Time Warner is the largest cable television operator in Southern California and a regional sports network creator." In its first role, it "wants to avoid, if it can, going through a middleman to buy the rights to marquee sports teams." By creating a network to showcase the Dodgers, it "can guarantee that all of its subscribers get that network, while also extracting steep subscriber fees from AT&T, Verizon, Cox, Charter, DirecTV and Dish Network" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/29).