The Los Angeles Dodgers and Time Warner Cable officially announced their television deal Monday morning and the creation of the new channel SportsNet LA.
The Dodgers-owned channel will debut in 2014. The Dodgers will remain on Fox Sports Prime Ticket through the upcoming 2013 season.
The deal, which still must be approved by Major League Baseball, is expected to cover 25 years and is worth between a reported $7 billion and $8 billion to the Dodgers.
“We concluded last year that the best way to give our fans what they want – more content and more Dodger baseball — was to launch our own network,” said Mark Walter, chairman of the Dodgers.
The Dodgers will launch SportsNet L.A. in ’14 through American Media Productions, a fully owned subsidiary that the team launched in December 2012. Time Warner Cable will not have an ownership stake in the new sports network, but will handle all ad sales and affiliate sales for the channel.
Time Warner Cable has agreed to be SportsNet LA’s distributor and will carry the new network for its customers throughout Southern California and Hawaii under a long-term affiliation deal.
While the monthly fee that Time Warner Cable will charge for the channel has not been determined, some industry experts expect the channel could land $5 per subscriber per month. That would place SportsNet LA among the country’s highest-priced regional sports networks.
“The creation of AMP will provide substantial financial resources over the coming years for the Dodgers to build on their storied legacy and bring a World Championship home to Los Angeles,” Walter said. “Just as we are actively transforming the team and the stadium, we want the Dodgers to be exhibited on the very best sports network in the country — one that will provide an unrivaled fan experience.”
The creation of SportsNet LA will give Southern California its sixth regional sports network and fourth to launch since August of 2012. The new network joins FSN, Prime Ticket, Time Warner Cable SportsNet, Time Warner Cable Deportes and Pac-12 L.A.