Time Warner has locked up a substantial local TV rights deal with the Galaxy that will run 10 years at $5.5 million per season, making the MLS team the second franchise in L.A. to go with the upstart cable company’s business plan to compete with Fox Sports for area teams broadcasting deals.
TWC is planning to funnel Galaxy games on its English/Spanish cable channel that it will kick start with the Lakers later in 2012.
Fox declined to match the TWC offer only because of the enormous prices that TWC decided to pay — about $289,000 per game. That’s almost as much as Fox Sports was paying per season for the Galaxy, carrying 19 games.
One industry insider said it would be impossible for TWC to recoup these rights fees with only advertiser dollars, which means it more than likely will pass on the costs to those cable viewers who eventually have the TWC channels on their systems. No carriage deals have been announced.
The new TWC-Galaxy deal is even more expensive than the deal NBC has a three-year, $30 million package coming up that will have the current Versus channel take most of the action.
The official announcement of the TWC-Galaxy deal should come later this week, prior to the Galaxy’s appearance in Sunday’s MLS Cup game at Home Depot Center against Houston. ESPN is covering that game.
Next on TWC’s radar — the Dodgers, whose current deal with Fox’s Prime Ticket runs through 2013.