The Los Angeles Dodgers and Time Warner Cable haven't commented publicly about a reported TV deal. But consumers are already contemplating the potential cable standoffs and price hikes it could bring.
Citing unnamed sources, the Los Angeles Times has reported Time Warner Cable would pay as much as $8 billion to carry Dodgers games on a dedicated channel for 20 years. The company paid about half as much two years ago in a deal to broadcast LA Lakers games.
Amy McLean, Editor-in-Chief of CableFAX, said Time Warner has successfully turned the tables on its rivals. Most of them agreed to pay $4 per subscriber for its new Lakers-led sports channels.
"It’s funny because Time Warner Cable has been one of those companies that again and again and again has put its foot down and said ‘we’re not paying this price…it’s too much,’" she said.
If the Dodgers broadcast deal goes through, DirecTV, Dish, and Charter will have to decide if they’re willing to pay for what would be the sixth regional sports network in the L.A. market. Dodgers owner Guggenheim Partners would reportedly own the network, while Time Warner Cable would manage its operations.
Prime Ticket, a channel of Newscorp's Fox Sports, currently owns the television rights for the upcoming Dodgers season.