As of Thursday morning, the Los Angeles Dodgers had pulled within three games of the San Francisco Giants in the NL West standings, won a game in dramatic fashion and had Clayton Kershaw throw his first career- no-hitter.

The Dodgers are essentially at the midway point of their season, 44-36 overall, yet most still have not seen but a handful of Dodger games in their entirety. Time Warner Cable and other cable providers remain at odds over terms to distribute SportsNet LA, the network dedicated to the Dodgers. TWC services roughly 30 percent of the Los Angeles area, which has left a significant number of fans in the dark.

Despite what public perception may be, controlling owner Mark Walter recently claimed negotiations were on-going. Team president and CEO Stan Kasten, who warned that DirecTV would not offer SportsNet LA to its customers, shared his frustration over the situation, via Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:

I just don’t want to discuss that,” he said. “Disappointed, for sure. This is something we literally work on every single day of our lives.”

Kasten also added the situation is complex and believes it’s best to handle matters behind closed doors:

All I can tell you is it’s very complicated with a number of different parties,” Kasten said. I think there are many reasons why. But because there is so much going on behind the scenes, we have decided to just not say anything publicly. In my experience with complicated negotiations, public statements – particularly inflammatory ones – do not aid in getting to a resolution. And all that concerns me now is getting to a positive resolution – more than getting a few points in the media by making some statements.”

It’s a common occurrence for cable providers to be at odds over distribution rights, which is what took place when TWC partnered with the Los Angeles Lakers to launch Time Warner Cable SportsNet. However, the amount of time that has since gone by is somewhat unprecedented.

A similar situation has occurred in Houston, where some Astros fans remained blacked out because of a second season of limited availability of the regional sports network that carries the Astros.

As a result of the dispute, radio ratings have increased and so too has attendance. However, some of the blame has shifted away from the cable providers and onto the Dodgers.

While the partnership was an unquestionably lucrative deal and in line with the trend of sports television, the Dodgers will continue to be in danger of unintentionally orchestrating a public relations nightmare as fans begin to grow more impatient.
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Dodgers History: MLB Facts About Clayton Kershaw’s No-Hitter


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

16 Responses

  1. Traci Sellens

    I’m sorry Mr Kasten do you think we are all that stupid? YOU and your organization struck a deal with Time Warner Cable, who in turn had the “monopoly” on Dodger games and network! You had to know what would happen next! I do not know who’s nickle and diming who, BUT I do know that you and the Dodger organization agreed to this. You just didn’t for see how angry your supporters would be! Next time my advice would be to make sure you sign a deal with a company that backs it’s equipment and has great customer service. There is a reason why there are more people out there with “other” cable/satellite services!

    Reply
  2. Jim Isaacs

    I have been a DODGERS FAN since going to My 1st Game with My Dad and Family in 1958 at the Memorial Colosseum. In that time I believe I’ve been to Dodger Stadium at least 15 times the most memorable being 1988 when Kirk Gibson Hit his infamous Home Run in the World Series the last time was the Game when Adrian Gonzalez was introduced. All the other times were watching on TV or Listening on Radio of which we know TV is OUT Now… I just CANNOT believe that anyone would allow this to happen to their FANS and it is TRULY Ashamed. Also Frank McCourt was the WORSE thing that could have ever happened to the Dodgers and the Brian Stowe Suit and TWC CRAPPY Deal have the Dodgers back in the Headlines all VERY SAD Indeed… Someone on Facebook asked ” What would you do if you were in charge ” I said GIVE the Money back to TWC and Buy K-KAL TV for the Fans to be able to Watch Our DODGERS and listen too Vince Scully’s Golden Voice just think of the AD $$$ …. Thanks for the Soap Box…

    Reply
  3. Rick Carpenter

    OMG maybe you should have really read the contract and made corrections !!!

    Reply
  4. Mark

    The ownership knew this could happen and don’t think it wasn’t discussed, just like in the strike years they think in the long run us fans will come crawling back.launching the Dodger Network without us was a Marketing disaster some one or persons heads should role..

    Reply
  5. Lori Goldstein

    I second what Jim Isaacs said above completely.

    “I just CANNOT believe that anyone would allow this to happen to their FANS and it is TRULY Ashamed. Also Frank McCourt was the WORSE thing that could have ever happened to the Dodgers and the Brian Stowe Suit and TWC CRAPPY Deal have the Dodgers back in the Headlines all VERY SAD Indeed… Someone on Facebook asked ” What would you do if you were in charge ” I said GIVE the Money back to TWC and Buy K-KAL TV for the Fans to be able to Watch Our DODGERS and listen too Vince Scully’s Golden Voice just think of the AD $$$ …. Thanks for the Soap Box… “

    Reply
  6. M Dodgerfan

    This Deal between The Dodgers Organization and Time Warner is lousy, unfair and bad for Dodger fans everywhere. Time Warner is a disgraceful cable company that really makes me and many other people hate the company. I don’t understand how the Dodgers Organization could leave the great fans out in the cold like this. ” Just business” you might say? Wiat till the seats at Dodger Stadium are emptier than at football stadiums right now……..just business…..

    Reply
  7. loner 17

    “positive resolution?????””” You can forget that Kasten, The 70% who can’t see Doyer games
    are getting used to not seeing the games just like we got used to no football and we managed
    all these years without it and we can do the same with your product. Good thing we have the
    Los Angeles Angels now.
    Former Doyer Fan.

    Reply
  8. thomas Rickard

    At least they could lift blackout on espn, and mlb tv,

    Reply
  9. Steve

    MLB network blacks out their games, no matter where they are playing, here in Vegas. I had to cancel my MLB.TV subscription too because they black it out on the computer. I absolutely agree that they knew this would happen and believed that the fans would eventually come back. I grew up listening to Vin Scully, like many of you. I want Vin to be around for 30 more years doing games but we all know he is going to retire soon. It just rubs salt in the wound that we are missing out, on what could be a legend’s last season of broadcasting.
    Where is the “Poster Child” of ownership? Sure when the euphoria of new ownership and winning streaks and playoff games are going on, Magic can’t wait to be in front of the camera; slobbering over the team’s success. Where are you now? This management group is just as responsible for this as TWC, Comcast ( since they bought TWC) and Direct TV. On top of all that, MLB is responsible as well. They are all Lawyers squabbling over who gets what when and the hell with the consequences as long as they get theirs. No offense to the lawyers out there but you know it’s true…

    Reply
  10. Arthur Travers

    It is quite obvious that Kasten is the one who screwed up the negotiations..What is a guy from
    Atlanta know about the TV situation in Los Angeles. He and is others never checked or asked for
    recommendations on Times Warner. All they saw was $ signs.

    Reply
  11. Mary P. Helms

    This incident is completely unthinkable!!! Dodgers enjoy a great fan base and are truly supported by the fans. Every time I talk to someone about this slap in the face to the fans, nobody can believe it happened. Isn’t TWC the cable company went off the air during the All Star game? Is that company reliable? I would’nt give it house room in an outhouse. It stinks!!!!!!

    Reply
  12. craig bague

    I think that it’s time for a BOYCOTT. Just like we did when Frank McCourt owned the Dodgers. Don’t buy ANY Dodger products. Organize protests for the media. Start bumper stickers…get the media involved. The only way the Dodgers will pressure TWC is when we start hurting their pocket books and when the media gets involved. Start yelling, “Times Warner Cable Sucks”, at the game. Let the media know we are upset with them, not the Dodgers. It’s time to take our Dodgers back. ORGANIZE!

    Reply
  13. Arthur Travers

    Next time Kasten comments about his dissapointment, someone should stick a apple in his
    mouth. He is the one really responsible for this debacle.

    Reply
  14. sam pascarella

    I live in the northeast. I have been a Dodger fan since 1949. a few days ago I bought time warners sport package so I could watch the Dodgers games,. BLACKED OUT!!!!! I cancled out

    Reply

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