NHL Kings Ink $250M Deal To Keep Games On FS West Through '24
The NHL Kings and Fox Sports "have reached agreement on a new television contract," according to Bill Shaikin of the L.A. TIMES. A source said that the new deal keeps the Kings on FS West through '24 and "guarantees the team" about $250M. The contract "ranks among the most lucrative local cable deals for any NHL team." The deal is "expected to be announced" prior to tonight's Devils-Kings NHL Stanley Cup Final Game Three at Staples Center. The Kings' TV "windfall has less to do with their Stanley Cup run than with the fractured cable sports landscape in Southern California." With Time Warner Cable "swiping the Lakers from Fox and launching two sports channels, the Kings now have joined the Angels in leveraging the threat of jumping to TWC into a fat new deal." Fox "agreed to tear up the Kings' current contract," which extended through '15 and included annual payments that "topped out" at about $12M. The new deal "averages about" $21M per season. While the Angels' new deal "includes an ownership stake in Fox Sports West; the Kings' deal does not." AEG President & CEO Tim Leiweke would not "confirm specific figures of the Kings' new deal." However, he said that the deal "puts the Kings among the top 10 NHL teams in annual cable rights fees" (L.A. TIMES, 6/4). Kings President of Business Operations Luc Robitaille said, "This is mostly a basketball market, and the Lakers have kicked butt for years. But we know that there are 2.4 million hockey fans in Southern California, and this year, we’re uniquely positioned to reach all of them. Obviously, it starts with success on the ice. And it helps that our best players are very young. So if we just continue to build on the success we’ve had this year, there’s really no telling how far we can go" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 6/4).