|According to one report, Dodgers GM Ned Colletti will soon have even more money to throw around. (Getty Images)|
As you might have noticed, the Dodgers in recent months have been behaving as if a major windfall were headed their way. Now, that windfall appears to be within reach.
Nikki Finke of Deadline reports the Dodgers are close to forging a new local-television deal with Fox. Finke tabs the total value of the deal at between $6 billion and $7 billion (yes, that's a "b") over a span of 25 years, which would be the largest local-broadcast contract in American sports history.
As Finke notes, that would mark an increase in annual local-television revenues from roughly $40 million (under the Dodgers' current deal with Fox, which runs through the end of next season) to roughly $280 million. In part, that's why the Dodgers sold for $2.15 billion, and that's why they've been so spendthrift of late.
It's easy to understand how we've reached this point. The Dodgers are one of the most iconic brands in sports, they're nestled in a highly lucrative market, they play 162 games per season and, in the age of DVR technology, live-sports programming is one of the last media still requiring the viewer to sit through commercials. It's that latter fact that's driving so many of these pricey television deals.
Finke also reports the deal could be completed early next week since both sides are up against a Nov. 30 deadine, when the exclusive negotiating window between the Dodgers and Fox closes.
So, yes, the Dodgers really are about to have that much money. The challenge, of course, will be to spend it wisely. Unfortunately for the Dodgers, that doesn't seem to be one of GM Ned Colletti's core skills.