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Dodgers join LA Galaxy and Lakers on Time Warner Sports

Reports are coming in that the Dodgers will partner with Time Warner to develop a second LA regional sports network.

Stephen Dunn

Today it was reported that Time Warner Cable has won the rights to broadcast the LA Dodgers starting in 2014 (link). The deal, rumored to be worth around $6-7 billion, is not yet officially announced though some details have begun to leak out. The Dodgers would be on a separate regional network developed by Guggenheim Partners and Time Warner in a partnership much like Time Warner has with the Lakers.

The Laker partnership with Time Warner is for twenty years, and was supposed to be worth around $3 billion (link) or $150 million per year. The LA Galaxy and Los Angeles Sparks were added on to the Time Warner-Lakers channel to flesh out it's programming offerings.

The LA Galaxy deal with Time Warner is for $55 million over 10 years or $5.5 million per year. The Herbalife shirt sponsorship is worth $44 million over 10 years or $4.4 million per year. That's two DP contract taken care of by two sponsors, not to mention the upcoming renegotiation of the stadium sponsorship. The Galaxy deal pales when compared to the Lakers and Dodgers, but relative to their payroll they are just great.

These deals for the Dodgers, Lakers, and Galaxy are all well above what they were getting from News Corp and the Fox Sports Net deals. It's a sign of just how important sports programming has become to advertisers, who are thwarted by the DVR and dwindling numbers for scripted programming in prime time.

ESPN currently commands the highest price per subscriber for a cable network (link), and that price is only going to go up with the recent deal EPSN signed with the NFL. Regional Sports Networks are right behind ESPN, for much the same reason. Live sports are huge right now.