The battle for post-2013 cable rights to the Los Angeles Dodgers appears to have been won by Time Warner Cable, according to a published report.
Time Warner Cable representatives did not confirm the deal early Tuesday.
The result would be a surprise on two levels. Fox Sports, which is in the final season of its current Dodger contract this year, had exclusive negotiating rights to the Dodgers through the end of November 2012, and figured to have an advantage in locking up the team as the ongoing centerpiece of Fox Sports West — as well as the incentive, especially after the departure of the Los Angeles Lakers to Time Warner Cable.
Conversely, if Time Warner Cable won the Dodgers, it figured they would join the months-old English- and Spanish-language networks that feature the Lakers. Instead, yet another new Los Angeles-based RSN is potentially in the offing, with the Dodgers apparently trading the guaranteed revenue stream from a rights sale for the retention of an ownership stake and potentially a greater windfall.
Guggenheim paid more than $2 billion to buy the Dodgers nearly a year ago, an unprecedented sale price that was predicated on the boon of televised sports revenue.