How bad did Time Warner Cable want to get the TV rights to the Los Angeles Dodgers away from Fox Sports' Prime Ticket channel?
So bad that the cable operator promised the team that it would cover fees from other distributors who don't sign on to carry the channel, people familiar with the deal said. The agreement is expected to be announced this week, perhaps later Thursday.
In other words, if DirecTV, for example, does not sign on to carry the new Dodgers channel, Time Warner Cable will pay the subscription fees until a deal could be reached with the satellite broadcaster. The price for the Dodgers channel is expected to be in the neighborhood of $5 a subscriber per month.
That's a pretty steep ask for a team whose games last season were watched on average by 106,000 households. The Lakers typically more than double that figure and the channel its games are carried on, Time Warner Cable's SportsNet, costs between $3.50 and $3.95 a subscriber per month.