For the first time in franchise history, the Los Angeles Dodgers won the National League West division for the third consecutive season in 2015. What’s more, it was their first time posting three straight seasons with at least 90 wins since 1976-78.
However, for all their regular-season success and notoriety, the Dodgers again failed to win — or reach — the World Series. Their loss to the New York Mets in the NL Division Series was a first-round postseason exit for the second straight year.
The Dodgers’ inability to reach or win the World Series naturally came as a bit of a disappointment, particularly given the club’s high payroll that was the highest in baseball for a third consecutive season.
Los Angeles took over the honor of having the highest payroll from the New York Yankees in 2014, but as far as value goes, the Yankees are still the most valuable team in baseball.
Last year, New York was valued by Forbes at $3.2 billion, ahead of the Dodgers who ranked second at $2.4 billion. There was not a changing of the guard this season, as according to Mike Ozanian of Forbes, the Yankees remain the most valuable franchise at $3.4 billion followed by the Dodgers at $2.5 billion:
The Los Angeles Dodgers, worth $2.5 billion, are the second most valuable team. What’s their side business? Cable TV. In 2014, Time Warner Cable TWC +1.04% agreed to guarantee $8.35 billion to Time Warner Cable SportsNet LA over 25 years. The Dodgers raked in $152 million in rights fees from SportsNet LA last season, the most in baseball. In theory, SportsNet LA is a regional sports channel owned by the owners of the baseball team via American Media Productions. Maybe it will be a real RSN in time. But right now it’s essentially a conduit by which money flows from TWC to the Dodgers.
Forbes cited the team’s television deal as part of the reason it is so valuable, but many Dodger fans are still not able to watch the Dodgers on TV as Time Warner Cable and DirecTV have still not reached an agreement despite Time Warner offering the channel, SportsNet LA at a discounted price.
But with Vin Scully’s final season on the horizon, it appears more of a priority is being placed on ending the impasse. Despite losing Zack Greinke to the Arizona Diamondbacks and facing several questions due to injuries, plenty of pressure remains on the Dodgers heading into the 2016 season.