SportsNet LA, controlled by the Los Angeles Dodgers ownership group and distributed by Time Warner Cable, will launch in 2014 as the baseball team’s new cable home, officially confirming what had been revealed last week.
The Dodgers have created American Media Prods. as the entity that will launch the network, which will offer Dodger games and complementary programming.
Rather than bringing the Dodgers to Time Warner Cable SportsNet, its newly launched English- and Spanish-language regional sports networks, Time Warner Cable will be the exclusive advertising and affiliate sales agent for SportsNet LA while providing non-game production and technical services to AMP.
The Los Angeles Times has reported that Time Warner Cable will pay at least $7 billion to the Dodgers for its involvement.
“This deal, like our Lakers deal, furthers our efforts to attain greater certainty and control over local and regional sports programming costs,” Time Warner Cable Sports prexy David Rone said.
Dodgers chairman Mark Walter said: “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. 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.”
The network is scheduled to officially launch in time for the 2014 baseball season.
“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,” Walter said.
Aside from Time Warner Cable, carriage deals for the SportsNet LA will need to be negotiated with other distributors such as DirecTV in a climate of ever-rising costs in sports programming.