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March 29, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

A report by Bloomberg News on Wednesday that Fox Sports is considering launching a new cable sports network that would rival ESPN has been dismissed by people familiar with the matter, the Los Angeles Times reported today (Thursday). The newspaper observed that should such a network actually transpire, it could touch off fierce bidding between Fox and ESPN for sports programming that could drive up the costs of cable TV subscriptions. (Already, ESPN represents the most costly feature in a basic cable package, believed to be $5 per month per subscriber.) In a separate article the Times noted that the $2-billion sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers could also mean bigger cable bills. That acquisition price could only be justified if the Dodgers were to make a cable-TV sale for TV rights worth something in the neighborhood of $3 billion for 20 years. Those additional costs are likely to be passed on to subscribers. Moreover, in the case of the Dodgers, it will likely mean that none of their games will be carried on broadcast TV. Currently the team has a deal with CBS-owned KCAL to carry 50 games per season.