As the new Dodger ownership prepares to build the perfect roster, upgrade Dodger Stadium, rebuild their international scouting and development programs, and preserve protect, and uphold Dodger tradition, the last piece of the puzzle is the new television rights deal that could be on the horizon soon. The bidding war has been between Fox Sports, and Time Warner Cable. But according to an article from Bill Shakin, Time Warner cable has jumped out into the lead, and apparently could be the front runner for the winning bid. It’s very possible the Dodgers could be moving to their own cable channel on Time Warner cable for the 2014 season.
The exclusive negotiating window with Fox came and went without a deal done. Now the Dodgers are free to negotiate with other cable providers, namely Time Warner Cable. The Dodgers are still trying to figure out how a new T.V. rights deal would impact the new revenue sharing system the Dodgers and all other 29 MLB teams must contribute to every season. The Dodgers are awaiting instruction on this from MLB, but it is expected that the Dodger’s new T.V. deal to command upwards of seven billion dollars or more. The Dodgers may have to contribute anywhere from one to two billion dollars in potential revenue sharing. With billions of dollars from the T.V. deal that should be pouring in soon, the Dodgers should have no problem giving Clayton Kershaw a proper contract extension he fully deserves sometime next winter.
The Dodgers have been carried on Prime Ticket since it’s inception in 1997 as a part of the Fox Sports Network. It was specifically created to carry the Dodgers, and they’ve been on it ever since. It is possible that this may end up back in bankruptcy court. The stipulations of the Dodger’s sale states that any contract disputes be settled through the U.S. bankruptcy court and not through Major League Baseball. We’ll see who that favors more, Fox, or Time Warner Cable.
It seems that more and more teams are already jumping ship over to Time Warner Cable. And a new contract could mean billions of dollars in potential revenue for the Dodgers. The Lakers have already moved over to their new Channel on Time Warner Cable, leaving behind their 35 years of history on KCAL 9. We could see a decision reached sometime during this next season. The Dodger’s contract with Fox and Prime Ticket expires after the 2013 season.