Blog Entry

Lakers agree to $3 billion television deal

Posted on: February 15, 2011 4:09 pm
Edited on: February 15, 2011 10:29 pm
The Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly agreed to a 20-year, $3 billion television rights deal with Time Warner. Posted by Ben Golliver. kobe-bryant

Showtime just got paid in a major, major way. 

The Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly agreed to a 20-year television rights deal with Time Warner Cable, an agreement that will provide English and Spanish language broadcasts. Sports Business Journal has the details.
Time Warner Cable signed a 20-year rights deal with the Lakers that will lead to the creation of two new regional sports networks in the L.A. market next year. Time Warner Cable will fully own the two new RSNs -- one in English and one in Spanish. The RSNs will have the rights to pre-, regular- and postseason Lakers games starting with the '12-13 season. Fox, which already operates FS West and Prime Ticket in L.A., had been negotiating to keep the Lakers’ rights on FS West, and sources familiar with the Lakers' proposal to Fox indicated that the team was looking for a $3B, 20-year deal, which averages out to $150M per year.

It doesn't take a trained media business analyst to realize that this is as an exceptional deal for the Lakers. 

What they sacrifice in future negotiating flexibility by locking themselves up for the next two decades they more than make up for in financial security and pure cash. Sports Business Journal notes that the reported $150 million dollars per year figure is roughly five times more than the $30 million per year the team generates in its current deal.  

I think that's called "selling high" in just about any industry. With a potential run at a three-peat this season, Kobe Bryant entering the last 1/3 of his career and a new coach likely taking over next season, now was the ideal time to sell, while LA remains at the top of its fame and game.

By comparison, the small-market Portland Trail Blazers signed a 10-year, $120 million contract with Comcast in 2007. The Lakers are set to make more money in one season from their new agreement than they Blazers will have netted in a decade.

As Sports By Brooks noted this morning, this deal also ensures the Buss family can continue to operate the Lakers profitably throughout the duration of the dail, even if current owner Jerry Buss should pass away. A little peace of mind on top of a giant pile of cash is worth its weight in gold.

Update (9:47 PM): In an email Tuesday night, Time Warner Cable disputed the reported $3 billion figure, a number referenced by the Los Angeles Times, Sports By Brooks, and the Sports Business Journal, but said they would not discuss the terms of the agreement.


Since: Jan 20, 2011
Posted on: February 16, 2011 4:56 pm


First off, if you guys dont have any experience with Time Warner Cable...let me tell you, this company should be put to sleep like a sick dog. 

TWC SUCKS.  They have the WORST packages to accompany even more horrible SERVICE.  The internet goes out on a constant basis.  The cable feeds cut out also.  I dont watch alot of TV asides from sports, but last year in the Finals, I believe it was game 6, they had pure black screens for a good 3 minutes in a crucial part of the game.

TWC is also a monopoly that bought out Commcast.  No one I know likes TWC, but it is literally the ONLY choice people have that live in LA and the surrounding areas.

I really cannot say how dissapointed I am that the Lakers signed this deal w such a lousy company.  TWC is infamous for their "get tough or roll over" slogans when they were having huge contract issues regarding Disney and ESPN networks (yes I know they are the same). just signed the next 20 years of your NBA life away to a garbage company, and your team WILL be the reason why so many people in LA will not have any choices for cable TV for the next 20 years.

I rarely bash the Lakers bc i love them...but this is a short end of the stick for your fans.  Thanks - and i mean that w the utmost sarcasm. 

and about DO know that the Lakers have an ALL TIME losing record w this team right?  Its got nothing to do w a road schedule.  Thats a cop out.  I believe the only other team that Lakers have a losing record with is the Celtics....go figure.  Dont blame the road tho...thats just dumb.

Since: Jan 15, 2007
Posted on: February 16, 2011 4:02 pm

Lakers agree to $3 billion television deal

well said

Since: Dec 4, 2006
Posted on: February 16, 2011 3:54 pm

Lakers agree to $3 billion television deal

The Lakers are very fortunate to have completed such a large cable deal in the mists of them going through a declining period. Now Lakers fans will be able to pay and pay more to watch their Lakers disappear from the real playoff contenders. The extra money will allow the orginazation to acquire more players. Let's just hope this time they look for younger players. Everyones knows they already have enough old ones.

Since: Dec 4, 2006
Posted on: February 16, 2011 3:47 pm

Lakers agree to $3 billion television deal

You sound like a fan that knows nothing about NBA basketball and scheduling. Long trips and back to backs are a part of the game. All teams must deal with it. Why should there be an exception for the Lakers. The fact that the Laker orginization replaced young players with older ones does not mean their schedule will be adjusted to accommodate older players.

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: February 15, 2011 10:29 pm

Lakers agree to $3 billion television deal

Hey Niner-  enjoy your tiny little win over a tired lakers team playing the 6th game of a greuling road trip.  Charlotte is and always will be garbage son.

Since: Jul 27, 2007
Posted on: February 15, 2011 9:10 pm

Lakers agree to $3 billion television deal

That's a lot of money to see them lose to the Bobcats!

Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: February 15, 2011 5:28 pm

Lakers agree to $3 billion television deal

Wow!  Jerry Buss just got paid big time.  Nothing like an extra $120million per year in revenue to offset any luxury tax issues in signing players (assuming that sort of thing still exists after the new CBA).

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