Me neither. Actually, the whole stadium thing is running into turbulence on several fronts, from the lack of an NFL owner willing to move to L.A. (and probably sell at least a portion of his team) to concerns by environmental groups about the number of cars that would be going to the stadium on game days. Last week, organizers of the E3 trade show threatened to leave L.A. unless it received some accommodations during the time it will take to construct the stadium - assuming the stadium gets constructed. (Anschutz Entertainment Group, which wants to build the facility, also plans to overhaul the convention center.) None of this will change enough minds on the council to block this risky project, but it probably should. Also in this week's update with Steve Julian is a look at the Kings' new TV deal. Available at kppc.org and on podcast (Business Update with Mark Lacter)
Lacter: The [Kings] agreement is worth at least $250 million, which is about the biggest local cable contract for a hockey franchise (even though the Kings have some of the lowest ratings for any team). And in case you're wondering, it didn't have anything to do with the Kings being in the Stanley Cup Final. It's more of an insurance policy for Fox Sports West.
Julian: They're about to get some competition...
Lacter: That's right - starting next fall, Time Warner Cable will be launching two cable sports channels that will feature the L.A. Galaxy soccer team, the L.A. Sparks woman's basketball team, and most importantly, the Lakers.
Julian: And this covers all Lakers games - KCAL Channel 9 is out of the picture?
Lacter: Yes - and the Time Warner channel could get even bigger if it cuts a long-term deal with the Dodgers. The Dodgers contract with Fox will be expiring at the end of next season, and the question is whether the team will renew its deal with Fox, move over to Time Warner, or maybe even start its own Dodger Channel. Sports remains the most lucrative type of programming, and by cutting long-term deals, such as the one with the Kings, cable channels are guaranteed both advertising revenues and subscription revenues. Of course, all this is going to cost the local sports fan. No specifics announced so far, but expect your cable bill to go up.