The Dodgers rumored signing with Time Warner Cable is one big pay day for Dodgers ownership. But it’s also a big break for another team.
The Time Warner deal sets up just the type of environment that Angels owner Arte Moreno needs to try and infiltrate LA. It’s hard for the Angels to compete in LA, and erode away at households draped in Dodger blue, when they aren’t the marquee baseball team on their own channel. They’ve been behind the Lakers, Dodgers, and now the Kings in pecking order at Fox Sports despite plenty of success. The Clippers fit somewhere in there. Now with the big fish out of the pond, guess who’s a much bigger Angel fish?
It’s not like Fox Sports isn’t devoting resources to the Angels. They devote plenty of resources to covering the Angels. They do not have a Vin Scully, but who else does? Between game coverage, both pre and postgame coverage, and Angels Weekly featuring Alex Curry there is a depth of perspectives to one of the most intriguing in the Majors.
To some degree fans have an aversion to following the Angels and watching them because of Arte Moreno’s efforts to brand the Angels as LA. They aren’t LA. The only people more adamant of that than LA residents are Orange County residents. In LA, fans are plenty preoccupied with their typical allegiances. And they’ve had access to them. Adding another team to the mix is a bit overwhelming, even if fans wanted to.
The LA branded Angels and Arte Moreno made it quite clear that they want to challenge nationally, and more specifically locally for fans, media attention, and the World Series. Grabbing free agent Josh Hamilton was a big move towards those ends. Unless the Dodgers play like the Lakers, there would have been no way that the Angels could have taken a piece of the LA fanbase as the side-kick in Fox Sports baseball coverage.
It’s not guaranteed now to be able to break into the routine and interests of LA fans, but the Angels battle on the field to be the victors in a Freeway Series will now be mirrored in your television set. Fox Sports will pick up the mantle of the Angels in a media battle for viewers, and urge along Moreno’s vision. Fox Sports would be well served to start phasing in more Angels coverage with their Dodgers coverage in 2013, because they will be fighting hard to push their content to both advertisers and fans if and likely when the Dodgers jump ship over to Time Warner in 2014. Eyes will follow the Dodgers to their channel, but the team of the Angels and Fox Sports have 1 very important year to make a lasting impression.
There is no guarantee that Arte Moreno’s calculated decision will finally take an emotional hold on Los Angeles. If Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols, and Mike Trout are as good together as their collective stat lines would indicate, they have the most important component—winning. But the Dodgers leaving for the unknown component of Time Warner was a necessary shoe to drop for Arte Moreno and the Angels master plans. Next they need the Dodgers to sign Dwight Howard and struggle mightily.
Members of the LA Sports Hublic: Do you think the Angels will continue to grow in LA like Arte Moreno hopes, and not just Orange County?