In Los Angeles, two of the most popular teams are being matched together for broadcast purposes.
Time Warner Cable, for their new sports network, bought the exclusive regional rights to broadcast Lakers and Galaxy games for $20 billion dollars over 3 years. To put that into perspective, it’s 800,320,128 short Speakon cables. Damn. (The LA Sparks of the WNBA are also part of the deal.)
To honor this new TWC partnership, the Lakers and Galaxy were brought together Monday night to celebrate with all the fancy Hollywood glitz and glamour to accompany it.
With the amount of money being spent by cable television networks and cable television broadcasting distribution companies, how much more time before they seek ownership of the teams?
Are the ESPN Spinners or TWC Roadrunners coming soon as professional sports teams?
It is an insane amount of money, and it is all done as an investment into advertising revenues generated from TV ratings.
The ratings are dependent on the sports teams’ popularity with sports fans and general audiences. Winning is essential for the Lakers and Galaxy. They must continue to win to maintain their brand value. The payouts from a television contract are only worth what the team’s reputation merits.
In Los Angeles, both the Lakers and Galaxy have local competition inside their own professional sports from the Clippers and Chivas USA.
The Lakers and Galaxy, though, have championship pedigrees and are the pride of the metro LA area. Their accomplishments have brought their teams recognition worldwide, and their brands are worthy even outside the sports arena.
And TWC gets a chance to promote their television channels on the Internet. The games will most certainly be able to be accessed on the Internet, as well.
TWC is also starting a Spanish language sports station.
As both Los Angeles MLB teams continue to struggle (both are now eliminated from the playoffs), the Lakers and Galaxy get more opportunity to be the class of LA.
All together, the new deals put the teams under more of a spotlight. The Galaxy has hit the bigger stage as they join the Lakers in attracting the biggest offers. It is one more big step in the right direction for MLS.
Howard Alperin is Managing Editor of AmericanizeSoccer.com