The Los Angeles Dodgers have now played 49 games, Yasiel Puig has hit 10 home runs and tallied 38 RBIs, and Dee Gordon has stolen an MLB-high 28 bases. Yet, the majority of Los Angeles residents are unable to stay home and see the Dodgers on their television sets.

Time Warner Cable launched SportsNet LA, a network dedicated to Dodgers coverage back in February, or a time when many believed they would have access to the channel come late-May. TWC has come to terms with Bright House Networks and Champion Broadband, but none of the other big names in the industry such as, AT&T, Charter, Dish Network or DirecTV.

TWC accused DirecTV of walking away from the negotiating table in April, which DirecTV refuted and there has yet to be another update on negotiations.

In an interview with Mark Saxon of ESPN LA, Dan York, vice president of programming for DirecTV, shared his belief that TWC is looking to make others pay for their contract with the Dodgers:

Time Warner Cable did an unprecedented deal and now they expect all their competitors to bankroll that deal,” York told ESPNLosAngeles.com. “That includes the customers who have no interest in watching the Dodgers, and that’s not fair to millions of families.”

Based on reports, a sticking point appears to be DirecTV’s desire to offering SportsNet LA on a pay-per-view basis or as part of a sports package, rather making it required that their customers pay for the channel regardless of their interest in it.

Negotiations of this sort have become the norm in the sports world as teams look for added ways to increase their revenue. A similar standoff occurred when the Los Angeles Lakers partnered with TWC to create Time Warner Cable SportsNet. Similarly, the network was launched prior to the season beginning and negotiations carried over into the regular season.

Despite not yet coming to a distribution agreement with TWC, DirecTV recently increased the fee of their regional sports package. Some customers claimed they were able to get a refund on their monthly bill. Last month, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti expressed hope the situation would get resolved, but nothing’s changed.

As the season continues to wear on, the notion that thousands of fans may go an entire season without being able to watch the Dodgers from the comfort of their own home moves closer to becoming a disappointing reality.
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About The Author

Matt is a journalist from Whittier, California. A Cal State Long Beach graduate, Matthew occasionally contributes to Lakers Nation, and previously served as the lead editor and digital strategist at Dodgers Nation, and the co-editor and lead writer at Reign of Troy, where he covered USC Football. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mmoreno1015

7 Responses

  1. Rob

    TWC was in LA LA land when they signed that deal. I hope they choke. Idiots!

    Reply
  2. j

    TW did think they could flip the blil on others, dumb move TW. Also dumb move by Dodgers for also being greedy and thinking about their own wallets instead of their fans. The Dodgers put their own fans in the position they are now in.

    Reply
  3. Stanley a.

    What a poorly written piece. I get the message but correcting the grammatical errors in my head while I read made finishing this story agonizing.

    Reply
  4. Derek

    Hello Dodger management, when will you wake up???
    Stop pointing the finger at TWC and Directv.
    This was your plan not ours. How many billions to you really need???

    Reply
  5. loner 17

    When Football Season starts, Direct TV won’t need TW with their Sunday Ticket and
    when over 70% of LA fans can’t get Dodger games, this has become a
    public relations disaster for the Dodgers. GOOD JOB!!!! GO ANGELS!!!!!!

    Reply
  6. Clementina

    Thank goodness for AM radio. For those of us in that 70%.that grew up with Vinny on the radio, the change to following the games on the airwaves was very easy. At this time Dodger management, and that means you, Mr. Kasten, can’t see the forest because they’re only looking at the trees. All you saw were the zeroes on the check and not the 70% of viewers who are blacked our. You didn’t even bother to check if TWC covered the entire LA viewing area. No worries however. I am and have always been a Dodgers fan. It’s in the family bloodlines. All the organizations that have come and gone as the team’s owners have not changed that and they never will. My only wish for Dodger management is that you don’t repeat this mistake if you ever decide to own the airwaves. Go Dodgers!

    Reply
  7. Jim W.

    I have to admit that I broke down subscribed to TWC when the season started so that I can watch the games. I already had TWC for internet and phone and use DiercTV. It does make me feel guilty though when so many of my friends can’t get TEC even if they wanted to. If they are out of a TWC supplied area, they’re screwed! I’m going to dump TWC as soon as the season is over. Looks, as of now, like there will be no post season. Do you think the players are down because they know that there are millions of fewer people watching them? They should be. Can they feel the vibes from their loyal fans that are up the creek? How about Vin Scully? Don’t you think he would rather have a three times bigger audience? What about the sponsors of SportsNetLA? Maybe they aren’t doing so well because of the trickle-down from the management’s Karma!

    Reply

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