On the day the Los Angeles Kings play their first Stanley Cup Final home game since 1993, the team has pacted with Fox Sports West on a long-term TV rights deal.
Though Fox would not officially disclose specifics, the deal announced Monday will likely be for 12 years with an approximate value of $250 million — a substantial increase from the current arrangement.
Set to begin next season, the deal means there will be about 75 regular-season games on Fox Sports West, though that number could vary depending on how many Kings games NBC or NBC Sports Network decide to carry. If those nets nationally telecast a game, FSW loses its coverage rights.
The deal was set long before the Kings made this Stanley Cup run, but clearly the value and national exposure of the team has increased greatly in recent weeks.
While the recent popularity makes little or no difference on the points of the TV contract, ratings and attendance could go up next season.
“This strengthens our business and indicates that Fox is committed to sports in Los Angeles,” said Fox spokesman Chris Bellitti.
Added Luc Robitaille, a former Kings player and club president, business operations: “Los Angeles is truly experiencing a historic period for our franchise, and this new agreement will provide us with multiple opportunities and platforms to showcase our team and its talented group of players for many years to come.”
Longtime announcers Bob Miller and Jim Fox will continue calling the games as well. Miller has been the play-by-play announcer for 39 seasons, and Fox a commentator for 23.
Competition for local sports team has increased greatly as of late. Newly named Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Spanish-language Time Warner Cable Deportes will offer the entire Lakers 2012-13 season as well as WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks and Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Galaxy.
Time Warner is also expected to make a play for post-2013 rights to the Los Angeles Dodgers in order to give the networks a content anchor in the warm-weather months. Fox, which will have an exclusive negotiating window to the Dodgers, is the main competition.