Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 06/04/12 at 03:54 AM ET
As player agent Allan Walsh so expertly put it on Twitter, the Los Angeles Kings have “struck while the iron is hot”: According to the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Shakin, the Kings inked a $250 million deal with Fox Sports West, though it isn’t necessarily due to the Kings’ playoff success:
The Kings and Fox Sports have reached agreement on a new television contract, providing an immediate cash injection that could help the team retain star goaltender Jonathan Quick. The new deal keeps the Kings on Fox Sports West through 2024 and guarantees the team about $250 million, according to a person familiar with the agreement who was not authorized to discuss the terms.
The contract ranks among the most lucrative local cable deals for any NHL team. The deal is expected to be announced Monday, before the Kings play the New Jersey Devils in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.
“We’re not only business partners with the Kings. We’re fans of the Kings,” said Steve Simpson, senior vice president and general manager of Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket. “We’re excited to showcase their success on our network.”
The Kings’ television windfall has less to do with their Stanley Cup run than with the fractured cable sports landscape in Southern California.
With Time Warner Cable swiping the Lakers from Fox and launching two sports channels, the Kings now have joined the Angels in leveraging the threat of jumping to TWC into a fat new deal to stay with Fox. The Dodgers become television free agents this fall, but Fox has retained the Angels and Kings well into the next decade, with the Clippers already signed deep into this decade.
The new deal averages about $21 million per season. The most lucrative local cable deals pay NHL teams more than $25 million per season and the least lucrative less than $10 million, Forbes reported in December 2010.
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