MLS announced a deal earlier this year giving NBC the broadcast rights once held by Fox Soccer for three years at $30 million. Today the LA Galaxy announced their own separation from Fox, to the tune of ten years at $55 million. The number of games is undetermined, and will depend upon ESPN and NBC’s selection of games each year.
The Galaxy will follow the LA Lakers in leaving Fox Sports for the up and coming Time Warner sports network. The official announcement is supposed to come on Friday outside the AEG offices. From LA Times reporter Bill Shaikin:
Although the Galaxy has been the league’s marquee franchise since signing David Beckham before the 2007 season, it has not been a ratings winner for FSW, never drawing more than 16,000 homes -– a .28 rating. In the last few years, ratings have dropping as low as .11%.
Fox, which has been paying from $300,000 to $500,000 for the Galaxy’s rights, carried 19 Galaxy games this year.
MLS was not a ratings bonanza for Fox Sports, so why pursue the Galaxy at all. $55 million is a paltry sum compared to the Billion dollar 20 year contract the Lakers got. Consider this another salvo in Time Warner’s bid to outdo Fox Sports in Los Angeles. The Dodgers have been rumored to flee to Time Warner as well.