Sources: TWC Will Seek Record Fee For Dodgers RSN, But Providers Are Balking At Price
Time Warner Cable "has yet to start negotiations for the Dodgers network, named SportsNet LA, and already several pay-TV providers are balking at the expected asking price," according to sources cited by Kosman & Atkinson of the N.Y. POST. A source said, "They know several distributors will say no because of the costs." Another source said that TWC for the Dodgers channel is "expected to ask for $5 a month per subscriber, a fee that would escalate to $8 over five years." The company's asking price would "be a record for a regional sports network." MSG, which carries the Knicks and Rangers, "charges roughly $5 for its two channels," YES, home to the Yankees and Nets, "charges around $3 a subscriber, while Mets channel SNY charges a bit less." The source added that TWC "wants to offer the Dodgers channel on expanded basic cable and not a separate sports tier." TWC, along with Dodgers Owner Guggenheim Partners "may have to reconsider their game plan" if the pitch falls short. A source said that "one possible option is rolling the Dodgers rights into Time Warner Cable’s existing SportsNet channel, rather than attempting to launch another stand-alone channel." TWC "will have to start negotiations soon" with at least five L.A. pay-TV providers "if it is to launch the Dodgers network early next year" (N.Y. POST, 11/29).