The Dodgers and Time Warner Cable officially announced the creation of a new channel, SportsNet LA, this morning.
In effect, the Dodgers will be televised on their own regional sports network beginning in the 2014 season. The next challenge will be to secure distribution among the local carriers. TWC has already agreed to be the charter distributor throughout Southern California and Hawaii.
Here’s the full text of the press release from TWC:
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers ownership group created American Media Productions, LLC (AMP) in December 2012 to launch a new Los Angeles Dodgers regional sports network. Today, AMP announced its plans for SportsNet LA, the new regional television home for the Los Angeles Dodgers beginning with the 2014 Major League Baseball season. In addition to being the exclusive local home for all of the Dodger games, SportsNet LA will provide comprehensive behind-the-scenes Dodger programming, featuring more insights, analysis and commentary about the team than ever available before.
Time Warner Cable (TWC) has agreed to be SportsNet LA’s charter distributor, and will carry the new network for its customers throughout Southern California and Hawaii under a long-term affiliation deal. In addition, in return for agreeing to make payments over the life of the deal, TWC will be the exclusive advertising and affiliate sales agent for the new network and will have certain branding and programing rights with respect to the network. TWC will also provide certain non-game production and technical services to AMP.
Mark Walter, Chairman of the Los Angeles Dodgers, 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. 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.”
Todd Boehly, a principal owner of AMP, said, “We are greatly pleased that Time Warner Cable, the largest distributor in the marketplace, has come aboard to support the Dodgers and SportsNet LA as our charter distributor. Their presence in Los Angeles will be invaluable in helping us serve Dodger fans and our community with excellence.”
“We are delighted to support the Dodgers and their ownership group in their launch of SportsNet LA. The Dodgers have one of the most passionate and loyal audiences in sports, and we look forward to helping deliver this new network to their fans,” said David Rone, President of Time Warner Cable Sports. “This deal, like our Lakers’ deal, furthers our efforts to attain greater certainty and control over local and regional sports programming costs.”
The agreement with TWC is subject to certain closing conditions. Additional terms were not disclosed.
AMP was advised by Evolution Media Capital and Guggenheim Securities and the law firms Davis Polk & Wardwell, Foley & Lardner, O’Melveny & Myers, and Winston & Strawn. TWC was advised by Desser Sports Media and by the law firms Covington & Burling, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, and Holland & Hart.