In December, the Seattle Mariners signed Robinson Cano for $240 million — eight months after the team invested in its own cable broadcast partner, Root Sports Northwest.
Now flash back to 2012. The Dodgers reportedly had an offer from Fox in the range of $6 to $7 billion total to remain on Prime Ticket, then spurned their longtime regional-rights partner to form a joint venture with Time Warner. Estimates on the amount the Dodgers will receive from the partnership range into the stratosphere of $8 billion.
History may judge this transaction as a tipping point for Regional Sports Network contracts, especially since not everyone is happy about the possible repercussions for their cable bills. (That case is still active, by the way.) But baseball industry folks haven’t complained one bit since the Dodgers inked their massive TV contract, from the small market of Tampa Bay to just down the freeway in Los Angeles of Anaheim. The Dodgers’ deal raised the value of 29 teams’ regional TV rights, offering the hope of upward payroll mobility everywhere.
Remember this the next time your friends in the Bay Area claim the Dodgers are the team everyone loves to hate.
Forbes’ Maury Brown just did a tremendous Q&A on the topic of RSNs.
Some bullet points to tide you through the weekend: