Regional sports network Fox Sports West has inked a multibillion deal rights deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
The 20-year pact, worth a reported $3 billion, will keep 125 Angels games on the RSN per season. The agreement, which sources familiar with the negotiation say is expected to be officially announced after the new year, follows Angel owner Arte Moreno utilizing an escape clause in 2010 on what had been a $10-year, $500 million pact the club signed with the RSN in 2006. The parties operated under a one-year extension during the 2011 season.
KCOP, which originally been airing 50 games under the former package but saw the package reduced in 2009, has been televising 25 Angels games per season.
The enhanced rights deal evidently helped the Angels plunk down over $330 million on free-agent contracts for former St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols and ex-Texas Rangers southpaw starter C.J. Wilson.
The Angels' new deal is a hedge of sorts to ensure that Fox Sports regionals in Los Angeles environs will televise baseball into the next decade. The agreement comes as Fox Sports other southern California RSN, Prime Ticket, is engaged in a legal battle with the Los Angeles Dodgers and embattled owner Frank McCourt. On Dec. 8, a judge overseeing a bankruptcy-court run sale of the franchise ruled the Dodgers can accelerate the sale of its future media rights, a move that would enhance the value of the team.
Prime Ticket holds Dodgers media rights for the 2012 and 2013 seasons, plus a an exclusive negotiating window that expires in November 2012.
"While we are disappointed in the judge's decision, we understand the court process and will appeal this decision to protect our contractual rights," said Fox Sports in a statement. "Those rights are material and valuable, and the current owner accepted them as binding when he purchased the team in 2004."