The Dwight Howard sweepstakes launched at midnight on Monday, and the Lakers and Rockets have emerged as frontrunners. While the Lakers can offer Howard more money than the Rockets, another inherent advantage the Lakers have over most teams is null and void with the Rockets because they offer the same advantage – the opportunity for a TV show.
Members of the Lakers that met with Howard on Monday were joined by executives from Time Warner, who the Lakers signed a 25 year TV deal with last year. The Lakers have their own RSN on Time Warner, and they're reportedly considering offering Howard his own TV program on the network.
Not to be outdone, the Rockets are reportedly offering Howard the same deal, thanks to their ownership stake in CSN Houston. Who could have imagined that Howard's courtship would include TV programming? (Imagine for a second how ridiculous a TV show centered around Dwight Howard could be. It might just be him in front of a brick wall doing awful celebrity impressions for half an hour. It could even be worse than the T. Ocho Show.)
It's something to keep an eye on in the future with other team-owned RSNs. For example, once the Dodgers get their deal with Time Warner finished, I'm sure they'd be giddy to be able to offer Robinson Cano a TV show on their new network. Maybe the Yankees would need to up the ante with Cano and offer him a show on their RSN, YES.
This is a slippery slope that teams are starting down, and is just going to end up drawing another line in the sand between the haves and the have nots.