The number one frustration from Los Angeles Dodgers fans as the team has enjoyed divisional success has easily been the television situation. Check out the mentions anytime SportsNet LA tweets anything.
They’re not pretty.
Tuesday, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred chimed in on the national blackout situation and sounded concerned about how things have gone.
“My concern could not be higher. I think the Dodgers and the Los Angeles market are crucial to Major League Baseball and its reach. This has gone on a long time. I’m hopeful there are dynamics in play beyond baseball, in terms of corporate activity, that may create some flexibility. And hopefully we will get a resolution in time for the 2016 season.”
Here’s the issue: The Dodgers are not the Los Angeles Lakers. It sucks to hear that kind of thing, but the Dodgers thought at the time they’d be as successful as the Lakers were with their deal with Time Warner. That simply has not been the case. Fans applied so much pressure to their respective cable providers, the companies had to cave in to a deal with Time Warner.
As the Dodgers are not the worldwide brand that the Lakers are, the same pressure simply has not been applied to providers like DirecTV outside of centralized areas inside Los Angeles.
Manfred’s comments are not directly tied to this situation, but how it affects how many people can watch games nationally. In the NFL, blackouts based on ticket sales were deemed illegal (but eventually cleared) by the federal government. Holding ticket sales over the fans’ heads just doesn’t seem right.
If that doesn’t sit well, holding a financial dispute between two corporations over fans’ heads who can not do a single thing about it directly seems outright disgusting.
There are no entities in this situation that come off guilt-free.
The Dodgers made an impossible deal with Time Warner.
Time Warner is trying to make the deal profitable for themselves by negotiating too stringently with other providers.
Those other providers aren’t taking the deal because it doesn’t completely work in their favor. The situation presented above isn’t exactly how everything went down, obviously, but it’s how it’s perceived by most everyone who isn’t filled in with every single detail.
And while all that crap is going on, the fans don’t get to watch the most competitive Dodgers teams in many fans’ lifetimes.
I think I speak for all the fans out there when I say, please, everyone, just figure this out.