Continuing a theme of boldly going where no previous ownership has gone before, the Dodgers are close to a deal where they would launch their own channel in a partnership with Time Warner Cable starting in 2014.

Neither the Dodgers nor Time Warner Cable confirmed several stories that insisted a deal has finally been agreed upon Tuesday and could be announced Thursday.

Bloomberg News was the first to announce the projected arrangement between the Guggenheim Baseball Management and the cable giant.

If rumors hold that the deal in the $8 billion range covering 25 years is accurate, it would make it the most expensive local TV deal in history.

It would also give Southern California viewers six sports regional networks and likely forcing them to pay three times as much as they had before for the same content.

One element in delaying this announcement officially might be that current rights holders, Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket, have a chance to match the offer, depending on how it is structured.

Fox Sports West, which created its second FSW channel in 1997 to accommodate an extended Dodgers schedule of games, had a reported $6 billion, 25-year deal on the table in late November, which, in addition to the straight TV rights, included giving the Dodgers partial ownership of the channel.

After those talks extended past Fox's exclusive window, it allowed Time Warner Cable to jump in and begin negotiations on several different business models.