For the past few years, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been struggling to get their Time Warner Cable-backed SportsNet LA on any cable operator not named Time Warner, Charter, or Bright House.
Charter is within an eyelash of completing a deal to buy Time Warner Cable so all of that may change soon.
That does not mean that they have no idea how to complete media deals at Chavez Ravine. The Dodgers and iHeartMedia (formerly Clear Channel Communications), have filed paperwork with the Federal Communications Commission allowing the team to take a 49 percent ownership stake in radio station KLAC AM 570 Sports.
The deal was announced in late 2014 and appears to be rounding 3rd base and heading for home.
Through a Dodgers subsidiary, the team will have 49 percent of the station with iHeart retaining the other 51. According to Lance Venta at RadioInsight.com, an important caveat of the deal is that iHeart cannot launch another sports station in the Los Angeles market for the next 15 years without the consent of the team.
InsideRadio is reporting that an agreement between the two entities will allow them to co-produce more programming.
KLAC AM 570 Sports is the flagship station for Fox Sports Radio and also airs games for the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers. It won the rights to the Dodgers starting with the 2012 season after a tenure which saw 28 of the previous 38 Dodgers seasons, dating back to 1974, being aired on KABC 790.
It is not the first time a baseball team has taken ownership of a radio station and it likely will not be the last. In fact, it is not even unique to the Los Angeles market.
The Angels bought KLAA 830 in 2006 for over $40 million after it, ironically was the Angels Spanish flagship station. It is now an ESPN Radio affiliate.
In 2005, after a long tenure on KMOX, the St. Louis Cardinals changed radio stations to KTRS 550—a News/Talk station, and assumed a 50 percent stake in it before returning to KMOX in 2011.