Make $8 Billion & Bring Back Sandy Koufax: Not a Half-Bad Tuesday

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had a lot of people asking me if Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz — and, as we found out yesterday, perhaps also Alexander Guerrero — might be someone the Dodgers were interested in. So I figured I’d fill up what looked to be a slow day with a look at Diaz and if the Dodgers might be in on him, and… ohhh, someone unplugged the news spigot.

* Finally, progress on the television deal.

Scott Soshnick at Bloomberg broke the news this morning:

Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC) has struck a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers to broadcast the Major League Baseball team’s games, two people familiar with the matter said.

An announcement of the agreement is imminent, although no deal has been signed, said the people, who asked not to be named because the decision isn’t yet public. The games will be carried on a new regional sports network developed by Guggenheim Partners, which bought the Dodgers for $2.15 billion last year. As a partner in the project, Time Warner Cable will run the network and sell the advertisements, although it won’t own the television rights outright, the people said.

We’ll have much more on this when we get more details, and the deal is reportedly on schedule to be finalized on Thursday. Bill Shaikin of the LA Times indicates that the deal could be between $7 billion & $8 billion, which is simultaneously mindblowing and hilarious when you remember what the reaction was when we thought it was going to be a mere $6 billion. No word yet on what this means for the KCAL broadcasts on free TV, but I wouldn’t hold your breath on that. Much, much more to come on this story as we drool at the idea of a Dodger-branded TV station that has team-related programming even when games aren’t on..

Okay, one more thing for now: Hey, remember when Nikki Finke breathlessly exclaimed that Fox was definitely keeping the rights? Nah, me neither.

* Welcome back, Sandy Koufax!

It’s about time.

Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax has returned to the club as special advisor to chairman Mark Walter. Koufax will spend a portion of Spring Training working with the club’s pitchers at Camelback Ranch-Glendale and consult during the season.

“I’m delighted to be back with the Dodgers,” Koufax said. “I’m looking forward to spending time with the team during Spring Training and to contributing in any way I can to help make the team a success for the fans of Los Angeles. Some of my most cherished memories came at Dodger Stadium.”

Koufax very publicly broke off contact with the team in 2003 in response to a gossip piece published in the New York Post — hat tip to David Vassegh on that link — who, like the Dodgers, were owned by News Corp, though he softened somewhat during the McCourt years. I cannot imagine that this story coming out on the same day we learn that Fox isn’t keeping the rights is a total coincidence, though I’m also sure he’s been a target of new ownership for a while.

I have to say, so far the Guggenheimers are checking everything off the “win fans back” list. Spend a bunch of money on high-priced talent? Check. Renovate an aging stadium? Check. Get team legends back in the fold? Check.

So, is it working?

It just might be.

675 comments
EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

Crap. So much for Jabba Uribe. outbid again

HarryDoyle
HarryDoyle

i took my spoon into the other room, now i can't eat my granola.  FML.

ThtsaPaddlin
ThtsaPaddlin

Mike, you should create a regression line plotting market size vs. annual income from television contracts and predict how much teams should be profiting from these agreements.  The Dodgers' new contract should obviously shift the curve to a great extent.  Pick out the winners (making more than predicted) and the losers (making less than what they should), and describe what payrolls would be like (and what talent could be acquired) for each team and how it would affect their competitiveness.  

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

WTF! NYC getting ANOTHER ASG?

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

ok im tapped out of shitty ideas

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

write about emerging baseball media markets and how its going to affect Murdoch

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

Mike write about how terrible the philly org has become

Batted Bob
Batted Bob

@EephusBlue you might have to buy it now!

The Monocle
The Monocle

 @ThtsaPaddlin at some point, after the second half of a contract, just about any team is going to be making less than they should or could.

HarryDoyle
HarryDoyle

 @ThtsaPaddlin I also wonder how this whole TV thing is going to play out, because the technology supports a pay-for-content-you-want-and-watch-when-you-want model, whereas the networks are holding fiercely onto their package/schedule model and hoping that banking big on live sports keeps them viable.  it'll be interesting for sho.

HarryDoyle
HarryDoyle

 @ThtsaPaddlin i dunno, it could be that what we're seeing is a bubble in valuation of sports TV deals.  i'm glad the dodgers are cashing in now in the way that they are.  just in case.

ThtsaPaddlin
ThtsaPaddlin

You'd probably win a Pulitzer...just sayin.

The Monocle
The Monocle

 @Disgruntled Goat   @Bob Meripol It'd be cool if you could order the channel as a stand alone, via the webz, without a a cable or satellite package.  About to cancel my DTV service to deprogram myself from the daily brainwashing.  The last time I did this, it was great.  Productivity went up.  Creativity went up.  And then baseball season started and I was miserable.  Gave in and became a slave again.

Vin_Skully
Vin_Skully

 @HarryDoyle  @ThtsaPaddlin But the Dodgers are carrying a significant risk in this deal by not just selling the rights, so if it is a bubble it will hurt at least a little.

ThtsaPaddlin
ThtsaPaddlin

 @HarryDoyle Yep.  But the teams who signed deals before the bubble (Angels) are getting pretty screwed.  Which is fine with me.

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

 @Mike Petriello it was news to me. I totally missed that. THat is super lame that NYC gets it twice so close together 

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

 @Dang88      i'd consider MLBTV and block my IP address if it gets out of hand. 

The Monocle
The Monocle

 @Disgruntled Goat   @Bob Meripol That's what I plan on doing.  If i can figure out a way to spoof the IP so that I can watch MLB.TV live, then I will.  Fuck this two hour wait for home games.

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

 @The Monocle  @Bob Meripol i also canceled DTV and got the few shows i watch by (totally legal i swear) download. the dodgers made me re-subscribe. 

 

 

MADE ME.