Even if you don't watch sports, you're still paying for it

A general view of batting practice before a game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Calif. A new deal between Time Warner Cable and the L.A. Dodgers will create another regional sports network that will drive up your cable bill, even if you're not a fan.

The Los Angeles Dodgers finished eight games back in the National League West last year. But a so-so season clearly doesn't matter in the world of cable sports networks. Time Warner Cable -- here in L.A. -- announced a $7 billion, 25-year deal for a Dodgers baseball channel today. Yet another regional sports network on your cable guide, and one that you'll be paying for whether you like it -- or sports -- or not.
New York Times media writer Brian Stelter says the deal breaks down to about an extra $5 per subscriber, of which a good chunk will be passed down to the  consumer.

Even if you are not a Dodgers fan, the cable companies argue that such a bundle is good for everyone. "You could look at this way," Stelter says. "All the money that gets put in every month gets divvied up -- not unlike an angel investor who goes out and makes bets on different companies."

In Time Warner's case, it goes and make bets on different channels, continues Stelter. "And they say they are able to bet on more channels than they otherwise would thanks to the investment that comes in every month."

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.
Log in to post3 Comments

I don't need the cable company to act as an angel investor. I think I can make a better choice about how to invest my dollars.

Didn't Guggenheim just buy the Dodgers for $2.0bn? If you own a sports team, hire Guggenheim's investment banker.

I say cut the cord. I realized years ago I was paying a lot of money each month for a handful of programs that I actually wanted to see, and a whole lot of stuff I didn't care about. So now I get by with rabbit ears and Netflix, and I don't miss cable at all.

With Generous Support From...