The Los Angeles Dodgers and Fox Sports are nearing a television deal that could be worth as much as $7 billion, Deadline’s Nikki Finke reported.
Fox’s current deal with the Dodgers ends after next season. The proposed deal to follow would run for 25 years and be worth somewhere between $6 billion and $7 billion. The average yearly cost for Fox would jump from $40 million to an astounding $280 million, Finke reported.
According to Finke, the deal could be done as soon as Nov. 30, when the exclusive-negotiating window between the Dodgers and Fox ends.
Finke has some details on the at-times tenuous negotiations between Fox Sports and Guggenheim Baseball Management, the group that bought the Dodgers in May:
I’m told a deal came “very close” to being done about a week ago “and then it went a little bit south”. To rattle Guggenheim’s cages, Fox Sports delivered an ultimatum that a deal had to be done by the end of this month or else it would stop negotiating. (Terms like “It’s dead” and “We’re out” were used.) The Fox Sports gambit worked. Because it would have left Guggenheim in a terrible situation without multiple bidders and with little leverage for next-in-line Time Warner Cable since CBS, Comcast/NBC, ABC/ESPN and even the MSG Network (controlled by the owners of Cablevision) never materialized. Of course, Guggenheim could have opted for the Dodgers to start its own network, as the Mets and Yankees have done. But big rewards come with big risks.