Fox-owned Prime Ticket is the current rights holder for Clippers games. Whoever ends up acquiring the team from embattled owner
On Thursday, The Times reported that former
Prime Ticket pays about $25 million per season for the Clippers, people with knowledge of the deal said. That pales in comparison to what the
The Lakers are far more popular than the Clippers. Last season, the Lakers averaged a 2.15 household rating or 122,000 households per game despite a horrible year. The Clippers had a very strong season and only averaged a 1.25 rating or 71,000 households per game.
What the new owners of the Clippers will want to avoid is the mess that the Dodgers are in with their new TV deal. The team launched its own channel -- SportsNet LA -- earlier this year and sold distribution rights to the service to Time Warner Cable in a contract worth $8.35 billion over 25 years, according to a valuation by the Dodgers and
But Time Warner Cable has yet to close deals with other major distributors in the area for the channel, including with
Keeping the Clippers is important to Prime Ticket. It already lost the Dodgers, and its sister service Fox Sports West lost the Lakers to Time Warner Cable. If the Clippers went away too, distributors might pressure Fox to merge Prime Ticket with Fox Sports West.
At the same time, Fox has shown it will walk away if the price tag gets too high, as it did with the Dodgers last year.