Dodgers set launch date for SportsNet LA

MLB baseball franchise the Los Angeles Dodgers have announced that their new regional pay-television sports channel, SportsNet LA, will launch on February 25.

SportsNet LA is being launched as part of the club’s new local rights deal with US broadcaster Time Warner Cable. TWC confirmed in January 2013 that a new channel would be established as part of a 25-year deal, from 2014 to 2038, to acquire the Dodgers’ media rights.

SportsNet LA will televise the team’s games and the Dodgers on Wednesday said the channel will also broadcast classic games, live studio shows and original programming on a 24/7 basis. The launch date has been timed for the night before the team’s first spring training game of the new season.

However, despite the Dodgers having set a launch date, the Los Angeles Times newspaper said TWC has yet to start serious talks with local cable television distributors including DirecTV and Cox about carrying the channel.

Though the Dodgers own the channel, TWC is handling distribution as part of its 25-year partnership with the team, which is worth more than $8bn (€5.9bn). The Times said the cost to carry the channel is expected to be $4 to $5 per subscriber per month in the first season, with the price going up over the course of the contract.