Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Dodgers announced a new television contract with Time Warner Cable on Monday, with the massive long- term pact to include the creation of a team-owned regional sports network beginning in 2014.
The agreement, which is still awaiting approval of Major League Baseball, will run for 25 years and could net the Dodgers between $7 and $8 billion, according to the LA Times.
The Dodgers' current deal with Fox Sports expires following the 2013 season, and the team had been negotiating with both Fox and Time Warner to establish its own network -- which will be called SportsNet LA and is expected to hit the air prior to the Dodgers' 2014 schedule.
"The launch of the new regional sports network is a historic development for the Dodgers and our passionate fans," said Dodgers CEO Stan Kasten. "Our commitment from day one has been to build the Dodgers into the best team possible, both on and off the field. Our fans deserve the best - the best players, the best baseball, and the best experience - whether that's at the newly renovated Dodger Stadium or on television."
Fans will likely be forced to pay for the new channel, however, with the LA Times reporting that Time Warner is likely to sell SportsNet LA to distributors at a projected rate of around $5 per month.
The Dodgers' agreement with Time Warner comes less than a year after the cable giant struck a similar deal with the NBA's Lakers that instituted the team- centric network Time Warner Cable Sportnet, which began programming in October.