Unfortunately, many Dodgers fans may be blacked out from viewing their favorite team.
It appears that close to 90% of Los Angeles metro residents will be unable to see the Dodgers on their local television provider for the fourth consecutive year.
Charter Communications, which acquired rights to manage the Dodgers’ SportsNet LA after buying Time Warner Cable Inc. in May, is holding firm to their “fans need to switch to Charter Spectrum” mandate in lieu of offering lower rates to other local-area service providers.
With the Dodgers pitchers and catchers set to report to Spring Training tomorrow, the antipathy that has grown amongst casual fans in the Los Angeles area will be exacerbated as fans with DirectTV, Dish and AT&T U-verse will be shut out from watching telecasts.
When the Dodgers signed their record-breaking deal with Time Warner Cable in 2013, the risk of fans being shut out was acknowledged, but as the blackout extends into its fourth year, it is a significant worry amongst Dodgers loyalists.
In 2015, Time Warner Cable CEO Robert Marcus was optimistic that a deal could be consummated in time for the 2016 season. However, competition in the marketplace and the increase in ‘skinny bundles‘ have made the prospect of switching to a large provider more of a demand for consumers as providers drop more expensive channels.
Though Charter Communications offered a slim discount to other providers in 2016, Charter Communications (formerly Time Warner Cable) is not extending the discount for 2017.
There are approximately 2 million subscribers to Charter/Spectrum/Time Warner in the Los Angeles area currently, but in a market with 18.2 million people, there is a large opportunity being missed by the network, the Dodgers and its fans.