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The Dodgers officially announce SportsNet LA

Jan 28, 2013, 9:48 AM EDT

The Dodgers and Time Warner issued a press release. The network … is … go!

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.

All of the principals are quoted and, in grand press release tradition, are “delighted” about this, that and the other thing. Still waiting for the press release that cites ambivalence and non-specific ennui.

The key takeaway for baseball fans here is that the Dodgers are going to be rolling in TV cash for the next couple of decades, and every personnel move they make should be considered against that backdrop. Think of it as the way we thought about the Yankees until about two or three years ago. They will make good deals and bad deals like any other team, but the margin for error is huge because they can eat bad contracts and try again with someone else if things don’t work out. At the same time, there will likely be more pressure for the team to avoid rebuilding periods because they have to consider the TV product — always be exciting, always be relevant — a bit more than some teams do.

  1. sdelmonte - Jan 28, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    There are no guarantees. The Mets have their own network, and we all know that they aren’t rolling in cash. And the Yankees are rolling in cash but not acting like it at the moment due to the upcoming tax bite. Other factors can come into play.

    Though the fact that the Dodgers aren’t paying off the debt on the stadium probably helps a lot.

    • Roger Moore - Jan 28, 2013 at 10:15 AM

      They may not be paying off debt on the stadium, but they are trying to provide a reasonable return on a $2 billion investment. Nobody is going to be willing to plunk down that kind of cash and then wait indefinitely to get something back for the money. A decent guess is that at least half that $200 million/year will have to go straight into the owners pockets to make the purchase a reasonable investment.

    • ace87lad - Jan 28, 2013 at 11:46 AM

      Haha actually their ARE guarentees because the dodgers sign the deal guarenteeing them 6 billion dollars.ans time warner, Promised them more from other network providers too.

    • ace87lad - Jan 28, 2013 at 12:05 PM

      Haha actually their ARE guarentees because the dodgers sign the deal guarenteeing them 6 billion dollars.ans time warner, Promised them more from other other network providers too like direct tv, and Comcast.

  2. vallewho - Jan 28, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    Viewers, get ready to pay!

    • Roger Moore - Jan 28, 2013 at 10:59 AM

      Not just viewers. $200 million/year is about $10/year for every resident of Greater Los Angeles, whether they’re a fan or not. The number I’ve seen bandied around is that it will cost an average cable subscriber $5/month extra on their cable bill, whether or not they ever watch the Dodgers. Color me skeptical of the Dodgers’ ability to squeeze that much out of the cable companies.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Jan 28, 2013 at 11:19 AM

      Right. Because nobodies paying for ESPN right now or anything.

      Boogeymen never die. They are just redefined.

      • mtr75 - Jan 28, 2013 at 11:23 AM

        Yeah, sit there and defend this crap while your cable bill goes up and up and up. Next time mine goes up, even a dollar, I’m cancelling it. I’m done with this crap. I pay for the Oprah Network, Lifetime and all this other BS I have no interest in. When the Knicks had their fight with Cablevision, that was the tipping point for me. If they had told the Knicks to go fly a kite I would have been fine with it. People are getting tired of every idiotic channel holding every cable subscriber hostage. It has to end at some point. And there are European websites where you can get live streams of any friggin’ sport you could possibly imagine. People are sick of this crap.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Jan 28, 2013 at 12:39 PM

        Am I defending high cable prices? Guess again, Champ.

        If you think that cable prices are affordable now as opposed to then and, of course, before they ever will be, well, then I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

        Buy my bridge. I will then buy cable. How about that?

    • mtr75 - Jan 28, 2013 at 11:24 AM

      Grab’ em and spread ‘em!

  3. cosanostra71 - Jan 28, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    Why don’t they just add the Dodgers to the Lakers channel? It seems kind of silly to have two channels. I’ve watched the “behind-the-scenes” Lakers content before, and assuming the Dodgers ones will be similar, it’s a waste of time. Just combine the teams into one channel, save us a few bucks.

    • Roger Moore - Jan 28, 2013 at 12:36 PM

      It seems silly to you to have two channels, but the cable operators love the idea. They have more space in their lineups than programming to fill it, so adding extra channels makes sense to them. Besides, the Lakers and Dodgers occasionally have games scheduled at the same time, so having separate channels avoids broadcast conflicts.

      • cosanostra71 - Jan 28, 2013 at 12:52 PM

        Obviously it makes sense for them, but I’m coming from it as a consumer who doesn’t want to have to pay to fill up another channel with programming.

      • Roger Moore - Jan 28, 2013 at 1:47 PM

        @cosanostra71:

        Cable operators don’t care what you think; they only care what you do. Complain as much as you like, but as long as you keep paying them they’ll keep raising prices. They won’t pay attention until people start dropping cable and they feel it in their bottom line.

  4. nickp91 - Jan 28, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    The Dodgers are evaluating producing and airing games in Spanish although there are no plans to create a second network

  5. iamjimmyjack - Jan 28, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    Eric gagne just said its “game over” for the rest of baseball.

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