[Updated] Dodgers agree to $7 billion to $8 billion deal with TWC, now have a channel to themselves

TimeWarnerCable

The Dodgers have reached a deal with Time Warner Cable on a television contract worth between $6 billion and $7 billion dollars, according to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, but that’s not the most interesting part to me.

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.

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.

The Time Warner Cable deal is believed to be worth between $6 billion and $7 billion.

Most are focused on the staggering amount of money, which is certainly amazing, but we already sort of knew the total would be around there since it was rumored that the team was close with FOX on a deal. However, the news to me is that the team will now have its own channel on Time Warner Cable.

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I’m interested for a couple of reasons: one revolves around whether or not this means the Dodgers assume part ownership of the channel, like the courts and MLB apparently want them to (increases their risk), and one revolves around how the hell they are going to fill that channel with content.

From the ownership perspective, does this mean the Dodgers will be forced to take on a share? And if so, how much?

The league believes — and there are indications the court might agree — that the Dodgers must take some element of risk with any money not subject to revenue sharing.

In other words, this deal seems far from over, as there are still a lot of questions to be answered and a lot of details still to come out. Nevertheless, this eases concerns about the payroll going forward, I think.

From the programming perspective, how does this work? Have you ever watched Prime Ticket when there’s no Dodgers on? There’s basically nothing on that channel, so I don’t understand why the team needs their own channel or what they’re going to do with the rest of the time blocks. My hope is that they come up with exclusive content and interesting programs, but judging by the current state of television, I highly doubt it.

This can all be redeemed by giving A.J. Ellis his own show for “Between Two Palm Trees“, where he continues to troll teammates.

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Update

Bill Shaikin now writes that the deal is in the $7 billion to $8 billion range.

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