It’s been put on the back burner for the past few weeks.
With the two SoCal hockey teams facing each other in the NHL playoffs, and the Clippers going through so much and triumphing despite all the controversy that has surrounded them, it is quite understandable.
But that still does not change the fact that 70 percent of Dodger fans in the greater Los Angeles area cannot watch their beloved team on television.
A month into the baseball season, Sports Net LA, the Dodgers’ new exclusive channel that carries nearly all of the team’s games, remains available only to subscribers of Time Warner Cable, which only 30% of Los Angelenos carry.
This is due to the fact that a concrete-like impasse has been in effect between Sports Net LA and the other TV carriers like Direct TV, Dish, AT&T U-Verse, Verizon, and Charter Communications, because of the far too high costs that the Dodgers’ channel has imposed in order for their games to be shown.
A deal worth over $8 billion was made between the Dodgers and Time Warner Cable, allowing the team to have their own channel in which to broadcast games, with TWC making deals with the other cable companies to carry the new Dodger network.
Direct TV had offered to carry Sports Net LA on an a-la-carte basis, meaning that it would be available only to people who specifically order it, which would make non sports fans happy because they wouldn’t have to pay for something they don’t want.
Time Warner Cable completely balked on that.
And since accepting TWC’s terms would mean that the costs would be passed on to consumers, including folks who couldn’t care less about sports and never watch it on TV, that leaves nearly 3/4 of L.A. without an outlet to watch the Dodgers for the first time since they moved west from Brooklyn in 1958.
Considering that fans used to be able to watch at least 50 games on free TV as recently as last year, plus the fact that this impasse does not look to end any time soon, this is truly a sad development.
Things are so bad that even Vin Scully, the greatest announcer in sports history, can’t watch the team he has covered for 65 years because he doesn’t get Time Warner Cable in his area.
That leaves Dodger fans with these options:
1. Go completely old school and listen to the Dodgers on the radio.
2. Attend games at Dodger Stadium.
3. Watch the handful of Dodger telecasts that are scheduled for ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball and Fox Sports 1′s Saturday Game of the Week
4. Become Angel fans, as at least the Angels are still available on TV to the general L.A. public.
I wish I had a more optimistic outlook for everyone, but I’d be lying if I said that the two sides are feverishly working on a deal.
The only thing left to say is like everyone else, as a fellow Dodger fan who hasn’t been able to watch his team, I suffer with you.