Fox Sports, Dodgers Reportedly Closing In On 25-Year, $6-7B TV Rights Deal
Fox Sports "could pay at least $6 billion to retain the Dodgers' television rights," according to sources cited by Bill Shaikin of the L.A. TIMES. The deal "could be worth three times what the Dodgers' new owners paid for the team and almost 20 times the value of the Dodgers' current television contract." Sources said that the deal is "not done." According to the team's current contract, if the two sides do not strike a deal by Friday, the Dodgers would "have until the following Friday to present Fox with a final offer." Fox would then "have 30 days to accept or reject the offer." The Dodgers' deal, "proposed for 25 years," would average $240M per year at $6B, or $280M per year at $7B (L.A. TIMES, 11/26). DEADLINE.com's Nikki Finke reported the deal "could clinch by Tuesday" (DEADLINE.com, 11/24). Fox in a statement said, "We're working hard to reach an agreement that achieves the goals of Dodgers ownership and also makes sense for our business." A source familiar with the negotiations said that "talks continue, but reports that a deal is imminent are premature" (THE DAILY). In L.A., Steve Dilbeck writes under the header, "Dodgers' Proposed TV Deal Dwarfs What Frank McCourt Wanted." When MLB Commissioner Bud Selig "dug in his heels" on former the Dodgers Owner, he "dug them in all the way." But after rejecting McCourt's rights deal with Fox, Selig is "looking smarter for it by the day." Dilbeck: "And although the $3-billion deal sounded impressive at the time, it’s starting to look like a half-price sale" (L.A. TIMES, 11/26).
SIGN OF THE TIMES? YAHOO SPORTS' Jeff Passan wrote the Dodgers' proposed TV rights deal is the "siren that baseball's new era has arrived, one in which the sport's best revenue-sharing intentions cannot save it from the self-cannibalizing greed that drives these TV mega-contracts -- and drives a wedge between the haves and have-nots harder to extract than sword from stone." When the deal closes, the Dodgers will "make more money from local TV alone than 26 franchises take in from all of their revenue streams" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 11/25).