VARIETY: Dodgers Deal All About TV Money

Jon Weisman (via Variety):

Tuesday's record purchase price for the Los Angeles Dodgers, by a group including Magic Johnson and Peter Guber, reflects the confidence the new owners have that the value of the franchise's local TV rights will fulfill the highest projections.

After all, the principal buyer of the Dodgers, spending $2 billion for the team plus another $150 million to be in a partnership for the land surrounding Dodger Stadium, is the Chicago-based investment firm Guggenheim Partners (led by CEO Mark Walter), so it's hard to position the purchase as simply a mere hobby with no regard for its financial bona fides.


The next TV contract for the Dodgers, whose current deal with Fox expires after the 2013 season, is expected to go for unprecedented dollars because of the team's fundamental importance in the Los Angeles sports television landscape -- an importance only enhanced by the 180-degree turnabout of having the beloved Johnson as co-owner in place of McCourt, who with his ex-wife Jamie came to be reviled by fans for their management of the team's finances.

Weisman goes on to identify the main players, but for most of that's irrelevant. All that matters is this: The Dodgers might actually be worth $2 billion because their next TV deal is going to generate massive revenues, which should allow them to sport one of the sport's largest payrolls for as many years as you care to think ahead.

Yeah. Watch out, rest of the National League West.

That said, the Dodgers have been one of the richest franchises in the National League for quite some time. And yet they've won just two World Series since 1964, and haven't played in one at all since 1988.

Money can buy almost everything, except love and World Series rings.

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