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Royals sell TV rights
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12/11/2002 8:13 pm ET 
Royals sell TV rights
By Robert Falkoff / MLB.com

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Royals have sold their television rights to the Royals Television Network and will distribute 100 regular-season telecasts and two Spring Training telecasts to participating cable operators and satellite providers throughout the Royals' six-state television territory in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

The deal begins with the 2003 season and is part of a long-term strategic business plan.

"We are excited that this arrangement allows us to significantly increase the number of games available to our fans over past seasons," said Royals president Dan Glass. "Our strategy is to offer a robust package of high-quality telecasts to as many parts of our television territory as possible, thus achieving our family's goal of expanding the regional presence of the Kansas City Royals."

Mark Gorris, the Royals' senior vice president of business operations, said that given the expiration of rights this year, it was time for the Royals to take care of their own product.

"Our goal, under the Glass family's leadership, is to promote this team on a regional basis, with the six states that are identified," said Gorris. "Our theme is 'More games, more people.'"

It was jointly announced that Time Warner Cable has reached a five-year agreement to carry each of the Royals' telecasts on all their cable systems within the Royals' territory. Time Warner Cable systems are located in the greater Kansas City metropolitan area, Lincoln, Neb., and several other communities in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

"Our network is very pleased to have reached its first distribution agreement with Time Warner Cable," Gorris said. "Our long-term mission is clear. We want to maximize distribution of Royals' games in the club's six-state region, create a strong affinity to the network among baseball fans and advertisers and ultimately meet the business needs of the Royals' franchise and our valued distribution partners."

Kansas City Royals' fans who are served by Time Warner Cable but do not subscribe to Time Warner are encouraged to call Time Warner regarding gaining access to the Royals Television Network for the 2003 season. Royals' fans in other areas of Missouri, Kansas Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma and Arkansas are encouraged to call their cable operator or satellite provider to inquire as to the company's plans to carry the Royals Television Network.

The Royals Television Network game telecast schedule and announcers for the 2003 season will be announced in the immediate future.

"We will work hard and hopefully get to a subscriber count in the near future that will bode well for us," Gorris said. "David and Dan Glass are focused on doing business the right way and step by step trying to improve the franchise.

"It's our responsibility and obligation to prove to cable operators and satellite providers that there is an investment return for signing up to be part of the Royals Television Network. That will take a combination of good marketing, good communication and good play on the field."

Robert Falkoff is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.





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