Let's get it out there first, the New York Post is a tabloid style media source. Many stories are a reach or far fetched, and with that, it is not always the best source for news. But this isn't the typical scandal story. This is about a TV deal for an NBA team. So although it is the Post, we will run with it, since it doesn't seem so far fetched. According to the Post, the Clippers might be looking to start their own network.
The Clippers, who currently have a deal with Fox Sports Prime Ticket, paying the team $25 million per season. The deal ends after the upcoming 2015-16 season. The Clippers are in a prime position to negotiate a new deal, either with Prime Ticket, or another media outlet, as the team is currently one of the best in the NBA, and have increased their popularity in the Los Angeles market over the past few seasons. Prime Ticket, realizing the popularity of the Clippers, and having recently lost both the Lakers and Dodgers, have made a substantial increase to $60 million dollars per season to keep the Clippers on their network. If Fox Sports loses the Clippers, they would be left with very few options to justify having 2 regional sports networks in Los Angeles.
The Clippers though, are looking to follow in the footsteps of the Lakers and Dodgers (sort of). Those two teams decided to start their own regional sports networks with Time Warner Cable, and in the case of the Dodgers, it's been a tough road. Many Dodgers fans have not had access to their team, due to the fact that many cable and satellite companies have not agreed to carry the Dodgers network, Time Warner Cable SportsNet LA.
The Clippers plan seems to be a little different. Ballmer is hoping to launch his own network as well, but it seems that he is leaning to a web based service. As the former head of Microsoft, Ballmer is hoping to bring his tech savy into the world of sports. His hope is to offer a streaming service for all Clippers games, where customers, regardless of their TV provider, would be able to pay a fee to watch Clippers games.
Will this new plan to distribute Clippers games to fans work? Or is this just a ploy to get more money out of Fox Sports? Time will tell.