Angels Reportedly Agree To 20-Year Deal With Fox Sports Worth $3B
The Angels "have agreed to a new deal with Fox Sports worth at least $3 billion and expected to cover 20 years," according to sources cited by Shaikin & Baxter of the L.A. TIMES. Sports media consultant Ed Desser indicated that Angels Owner Arte Moreno last year "opted out of a 10-year, $500-million contract with Fox." He has since parlayed that escape clause "into the billions that enabled his team to sign" 1B Albert Pujols and P C.J. Wilson. The "possibility of the Dodgers' following the Lakers to Time Warner Cable left Fox facing the dilemma of satisfying the Angels or trying to run Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket with no baseball team" on either channel. Fox owns the Dodgers' TV rights through '13. However, as Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt in recent weeks has "pushed for an accelerated auction" of his team's rights, Fox "increased the value of a new Angels deal beyond what the company had offered the Dodgers." The MLB Rangers "agreed with Fox last year on a new contract worth an average of $80 million per year." The Angels' deal is "expected to top that in average annual rights fees -- the rejected Dodgers' deal had an average annual rights fee of about $85 million -- and include an ownership stake in FSW." SNL Kagan media analyst Adam Swanson said the Angels deal "secures Fox for a little bit. They don't have to worry about the team going somewhere else" (L.A. TIMES, 12/9).