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The Dodgers’ pending deal with FOX is not worth $3 billion

Apr 26, 2011, 8:24 AM EDT

File photo of Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt speaking at a news conference about increased security at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles

When Major League Baseball moved to take over the Dodgers last week, Frank McCourt’s new attack dog Steve Soboroff claimed that McCourt was being done dirty. He claimed that MLB was holding McCourt’s ATM card and not letting him take advantage of the $3 billion TV rights offer FOX had made him. An offer that would cure all which ailed the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Only one slight problem with that. The offer wasn’t really for $3 billion. It was for a bit over half of that:

Contrary to previous reports published in the Los Angeles Times and elsewhere, the new deal is not for 20 years at a price tag of $3 billion — rather, it is a 13-year deal valued at $1.6 billion, a person familiar with the pact said.

The Texas Rangers just got a $1.6 billion TV deal, albeit over seven more years.  Still, the Los Angeles metro area is about twice the size of the Dallas Metro area, and I presume the disparity in the number of potential TV viewers grows greater as you move out into the larger market.  In other words. it would seem that FOX’s offer to the Dodgers is low.

Which makes sense, because Frank McCourt is over a barrel. He’s exactly the kind of guy you try to lowball right now.  FOX likely smells opportunity and Major League Baseball is right to intervene and not allow McCourt to leave money on the table that, in all likelihood, will be funding the team’s operations long after he has ridden off into the sunset.

You know. Like this.

  1. koufaxmitzvah - Apr 26, 2011 at 9:05 AM

    D’oh!

  2. BC - Apr 26, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    Of course FOXs offer to McCourt was low. They’re lowballing him because they know he’s desperate. I’m half surprised that FOX didn’t walk away from the table completely.

  3. Roger Moore - Apr 26, 2011 at 9:32 AM

    Still, the Los Angeles metro area is about twice the size of the Dallas Metro area, and I presume the disparity in the number of potential TV viewers grows greater as you move out into the larger market.

    The Los Angeles metro area also has twice as many teams as the Dallas Metro area, which presumably decreases the number of fans of each team relative to the total audience. I don’t know many serious fans who root for both the Dodgers and Angels.

    • PanchoHerreraFanClub - Apr 26, 2011 at 9:52 AM

      NYers that root for Yankees and the Mets, no. Root for the Yankees, laugh at the Mets, yes.

    • APBA Guy - Apr 26, 2011 at 12:01 PM

      Depends on the regional definitions you use, but the 2010 census for Dallas was 6,372,000 while greater LA was 17,600,000. The Dodgers turf, if you will, would be about 11,000,000 of that, with the Angels drawing mainly from OC and parts south and West until you start bumping up against the Padres, with a metro area population of around 3.5 million.

      If you use the SMSA’s from the Census, they don’t correspond well for TV territory coverage. The census SMSA’s for SoCAl have a lot of overlap (Scatterbrian could speak better to this than me), but the LA SMSA of 12.8 million is greater LA plus also half of OC. The Angels in Anaheim, which is in OC, get about 3 million of that, but there’s also the 4.2 million Riverside/San Benadino SMSA that’s split between the Dodgers, Angels, and Padres, plus assorted outliers not included in teh SMSA’s.

      Bottom line, the Dodger’s TV territory is huge, about 1.8 to 2x the Rangers.

  4. manute - Apr 26, 2011 at 9:50 AM

    Jamie made off with the other half.

  5. cur68 - Apr 26, 2011 at 10:40 AM

    Backwards, with a clown head on a half dead horse? Hell no. Tarred, feathered, being dragged by a mule: hell yes.

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