Fox plans Spanish-language L.A. sportscasts

Alternative game coverage of Dodgers, Angels, Clippers in works

Fox Sports Network will begin to produce Spanish-language cable broadcasts of Dodgers, Angels and Clippers games and has already secured distribution on Time Warner Cable, Cox and Bright House in Los Angeles.

Time Warner Cable will air the Fox-produced games even as it moves toward its proposed Spanish-language channel dedicated primarily to the Lakers, scheduled to launch before the 2012-13 NBA season. Time Warner and Fox are primary rivals for the post-2013 cable TV rights to the Dodgers.

However, the initiative is not limited to Los Angeles. Markets in Miami and Dallas will also have Spanish-language games produced by FSN, with San Diego close to becoming official.

FSN said it would produce more than 100 Spanish-language game broadcasts this year for the Los Angeles teams and more than 150 in 2013, with an eye on continued growth down the road. The productions will include Spanish-language play-by-play, graphics and player interviews. Announcers and a full game schedule remain to be announced, but the first game for the Angels will be April 6 and for the Dodgers will be April 11.

There will be a handful of Clipper games in Spanish before the regular season ends April 25, beginning Saturday with a game against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Fox is not charging distributors any additional fees for the broadcasts, requiring only that they be made available on expanded digital as opposed to a paid tier. Ad sales will be the primary source of revenue.

“We’re proud to make this major commitment to Spanish-language sports programming in Los Angeles,” said FSN exec veep Jeff Krolik. “Not only is this a great opportunity to serve Hispanic viewers, but it’s also an opportunity to provide value to our affiliates by giving them programming options for their customers.”

FSN said the Spanish-language broadcasts would complement existing cable sports network Fox Deportes, as well as local English-language Los Angeles cablers Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket.

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