Dodgers’ Time Warner Cable deal faces fresh complications

The owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers Major League Baseball franchise, Guggenheim Baseball Management, are being forced to rework their $7bn (€5.4bn), 25-year local rights deal with US broadcaster Time Warner Cable, according to the New York Post.

The newspaper, citing three sources close to the situation, said an amended deal could see the Guggenheim investment group pay $130m a year to the league under its revenue-sharing agreement, a significant higher sum than the $85m it had expected to pay.

Guggenheim had expected that MLB would continue a 2011 Dodgers revenue-sharing agreement rather than adopt the current arrangement, which entails that franchises with large media revenues are expected to share 34% of their local television rights with smaller teams.

TWC confirmed in January that a new regional pay-television sports channel would be launched as part of the 25-year deal, from 2014 to 2038, to acquire the Dodgers’ media rights.

However, MLB has objected to the deal because much of the $7bn in rights fees to the new network are guaranteed, regardless of the success of the venture – an unusual arrangement for a television rights deal.

The Post reports Guggenheim appears to be prepared to agree to the new conditions with the Dodgers having still not submitted the TWC deal to MLB for league approval.

January’s deal saw TWC oust the Fox Sports division of US network Fox as the Dodgers’ rights-holder in the local market.