For the first time in its eight-year history, Prime Ticket will televise live major league baseball this summer.
The regional sports network announced Thursday that it has signed a five-year contract with the Angels to carry 20 home games in 1993 and to increase that number by at least two games each year thereafter.
By the third year, Prime Ticket could televise as many as 36 games if the market so warranted.
Roger Werner, Prime Ticket’s president, said: “We’re very happy about this deal because it gives us a flagship product in the summer, which we have never had before.”
Bob Gold, Prime Ticket’s vice president of public relations, added: “We’re all dancing on the furniture, we’re so happy. This is a fabulous milestone for us.”
No rights fees were specified, but an Angel spokesman said Prime Ticket will pay proportionately less than the $100,000 per game that SportsChannel Los Angeles had been paying.
Decisions on announcers and production personnel will be made later.
Prime Ticket began a relationship with the Angels last season when, in conjunction with the team, it began producing “Angels Clubhouse,” a weekly magazine-type show.
Werner said Prime Ticket is continuing to negotiate with the Dodgers and the Clippers, but there are no new developments.
Brent Shyer, the Dodgers’ director of broadcasting, said the team has not changed its philosophy of televising home games only on pay cable. Prime Ticket is a basic cable service.
“It’s always been our intent to stay at the pay level,” Shyer said, “particularly now with all the new technology on the horizon that will open up a lot more channels.”
Shyer says it is conceivable that the Dodgers will not have a cable deal this year. “We hope that is not the case, but we don’t want to get into something that isn’t right,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Clipper-Prime Ticket negotiations are progressing, and indications are there’s a chance of a deal soon.