It’s with Time-Warner, and terms won’t be announced till Thursday.
The Dodgers have agreed with Time Warner Cable on a new television contract that will provide the team with a channel of its own, according to two people familiar with the deal but not authorized to discuss it.
Time Warner Cable now has secured the television rights to the two most popular teams in Los Angeles — the Dodgers and the Lakers — within two years.
The Dodgers’ deal is expected to be finalized and announced Thursday. The team has not yet submitted the deal to Major League Baseball for approval, but the control of the channel is expected to rest with the Dodgers’ owners rather than with Time Warner.
Presumably it pays the team enough to cover its payroll.
In other equally welcome news, Sandy Koufax will return to Spring Training to work with the Dodgers’ pitchers.
Update: The TV deal has now been confirmed. There may be some differences with MLB as to how much of the money the Dodgers receive is subject to revenue sharing:
The new ownership group, which bought the team out of bankruptcy court in April 2012 for a record $2.1 billion, said it has created a company called American Media Productions that will start broadcasting Dodgers games in 2014 on a channel called SportsNet LA. Time Warner Cable, the largest carrier in the area, will be the network’s first distributor.
Although terms were not disclosed, the SportsBusiness Journal calls it a 25-year deal worth $7 billion.
“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,” Dodgers chairman Mark Walter said in a statement. “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.”
The deal is subject to approval by Major League Baseball, and one baseball source privy to the negotiations told ESPN.com the team and the league could very well butt heads regarding exactly how much of the deal will be shared with other teams.
The other question yet to be answered is “how big a carriage fee will Time Warner pay to AMP for the rights to show the Dodgers’ games and other content and how much will Time Warner turn around and charge its mostly-captive subscribers?”