Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers are 10 days away from taking the field for the first game of the regular season and the extent to the number of fans who will be able to watch them face the San Diego Padres remains a question mark.

It was reported Time Warner Cable recently engaged in negotiations with other pay-TV providers to distribute SportsNet LA, but to this point they appear to have been rebuffed. The feel-good story of the Dodgers having their own network turned sour last season as Charter Communications, DirecTV and a slew of others, were unable to come to terms with TWC.

Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten said at the Winter Meetings he believed SportsNet LA would be more widely available come Opening Day, which now appears to be a long shot. As the impasse continues to linger on, Kasten expressed his remorse over the situation, via Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:

How many times can I tell people how bad I feel? Yeah, I feel terrible about it,” Kasten said Wednesday. “It’s the single biggest customer problem I’ve had in my whole career – and the one we’ve spent the most time on.”

As for whether he may regret the record-setting, 25-year, $8.35 billion deal with TWC, Kasten said he does not:

No, because this is such a good deal for the franchise, it has enabled so many good things to happen and will for the next several decades,” he said. “I don’t think we could have foreseen what has happened. I don’t think we could have foreseen two mergers simultaneously from the two biggest providers, that both would be acquired by someone else – no one saw that or knew that at the time.”

The mergers Kasten touches on are of AT&T and DirecTV, and Comcast merging with TWC. General consensus has held they needed to be completed in order for significant progress in talks for SportsNet LA carriage to be made.

Should that be true, news of the FCC recently delaying their decision on Comcast taking control of TWC doesn’t bode well. After DirecTV refused to enter binding arbitration, TWC made the final six regular-season games available on KDOC, an independent station that is carried by all providers in Southern California and can be received with an over the air antenna.

TWC presumably would be willing to once more take matters into their own hands in order to reach a larger audience this season, though hope remains deals will soon fall into place.

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Dodgers Spring Training: Justin Turner


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

18 Responses

  1. Jackson Ebner

    They thought they could extract $60 a year from everybody in L.A. with a TV, the sooner they realize their channel is only worth what Dodger/baseball fans are willing to pay for it, the sooner they will figure out the correct pricing for the channel on an optional basis.

    Reply
    • Tmax

      Jackson you are absolutely correct. The old system where you have to sign up for channels you do not watch in “packages” will soon be gone. If I did not get such a great deal with TWC this year I would have not gone with a TV provider at all. I can get almost everything I need to watch on my digital local antennae and Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. The only hold out is Sports and that will not last long. Someone will figure out how to sell packages oin the internet with or without “official blessing”.
      I do not blame the Dodgers if someone wants to give you 10 times what your car or house is worth you take it. Especially if the amount of money is a game changer for your profit and loss for decades.
      It allows the Dodgers to buy Cuban players, Kershaw’s contract and hopefully keep filling the pipeline. We have to become the dominate Team in the National League. I believe we will. It may take a couple of more years but I believe we will get there.

      Reply
      • Jackson Ebner

        yep, the dodgers lucked out, they will be the richest of the rich for a long time, and they have a good team of decision makers who should be able to put those resources to good use. If they were successful with low budgets in oakland and tampa bay, they may dominate with the highest budget. I think the future is looking very good, and the present is pretty optimistic as well.

      • Tmax

        I am curious on how they will manage the roster. Olivera looks to be almost the same position player as Guererro. Guererro has shown to be a very good player. Colletti has mentioned that Guererro is over the Culture Shock of the US and the transition to Major League Baseball not to mention getting his ear bit off (Ouch). We seem to have some Very Good Players all under contract such as, Ethier, Turner, SVS, 2nd Catcher, Guererro so their does not seem to be room for Olivera or someone like Kikki Hernandez who has played really well. Not to mention they traded for Heisey and he has been average at best. We have all been waiting for a trade but maybe they will wait it out.

      • Jackson Ebner

        Guerrero just smoked two today, I don’t think anybody really knows how good a hitter he is, but he looks like he is a legitimate hitter with power. Turner has been looking unbelievable as well, you won’t get better than SVS in his role, Kike looks good, even Barney has looked great, so yea, crazy kind of over-kill, why they needed Olivera I was never sure, especially since he is such a risk, but maybe he’ll turn out to be the best of the lot. They can’t all make the team, but they’ll have good depth in case someone goes down, and some primo trading chips for special needs that may arise.

      • Tmax

        Yes I was able to watch the game today and Guererro is a legit hitter and has played 3rd well. I wonder if Guererro continues to hit if they try for him at 3rd next year and Olivera at 2nd and do not offer Kendrick a contract. It will all play out bu the end of the year. But it is interesting. Loved Baez coming in with 1 out and runners on 2nd and 3rd and shutting the door. Electric low outside corner fastball for called strike for 2nd out. SVS, Turner, Guererro all looked great.

      • Alex

        This is a great problem to have. Now, if and when injuries occur, we are not sending out guys who bat .190 or minor leaguers with zero experience. We are sending out legit ballplayers who could start on probably half the teams in the league. No rest for the weary. Would love to keep Kendrick for many years, but I believe we get a draft pick if he signs elsewhere, so not too big of a loss with that, plus with Olivera taking over.

        Let’s hope the bullpen is like that, too. Paco, Yimi, Liberatore, all lights out. Huff, Aardsma, Baez, Wieland, and Coulombe all look great, too. Little worried about a few others, but with new management, you know if they don’t perform, they will sit or get cut.

      • Tmax

        I agree the Team has lots of options and will have a very good AAA and AA club with all the talent that does not make the 25 man roster. So we are very fortunate for that. Colletti said on the broadcast that Olivera was a impact type player and a gifted hitter so we will see once he knocks the rust off. Overall having so many options is a great situation. Let’s hope for a great year Go blue…

  2. Taylor Rose

    Something to consider, new owners.. revised contract?? Give the money back you guys, you got it to give and then make a better decision as to how your fans can access the games 😉 Im sure you all are smart fellas and can figure out a better way of emulating the yankees, which I as a Dodger fan DO NOT LIKE.

    Reply
    • Jackson Ebner

      And Ethier, Wilson, Crawford, and others should rip up their contracts too, because when someone signs a contract, and it turns out they overpaid you, you should always give the money back. Right?

      Reply
  3. Trueblue81

    Easy solution. All these dodger fans upset about not having the channel should boycott going to the stadium until deal is reached. At this point dodger organization could careless if we see games because it forces fans to spend money and come to stadium. They are getting richer by us not having this channel. Boycott a nationally televised game and embarrass the organization for a Sunday night baseball game. Maybe then they will step in and give some money back to TWC.

    For the Dodgers to say there is nothing they can do is garbage! They sold there product and now there product doesn’t exist! They were not smart enough to have clauses or legal in the contract for a situation like this? They just want the money!

    Reply
    • puckstopper27

      That’s not happening. The Dodgers have ALREADY sold 3 million tickets for this season.

      Reply
    • bentneckgiraffe

      It’s a good idea, but it’s like boycotting Coca-Cola at your neighborhood store… They’re still going to sell their product. What I want to do is organize some rallies outside the entrances to the parking lot. I envision a big sign of Vin with duct tape over his mouth. He is tragically being silenced in his final years. Unacceptable. Can’t even get him on the radio for more than three innings.

      Reply
      • dodgermutt

        I don’t see how that will convince Time Warner to make a deal, Time warner doesn’t own the team, just the tv rights.

    • dodgermutt

      Boycotting Dodger games has no effect on what TWC does, it has no effect on what other providers do. If you want to shame someone it’s the tv providers who refuse to work this out.

      Reply
  4. Stephen Mandujano

    Yeah Stan I’m sure you feel real bad when cashing those TWC
    checks at the Bank…

    Reply
  5. Dellburt

    The Dodger games were free on TV. Now Time Warner is using their exclusive contract to screw everyone. Not charging for the Dodger channel? Then why did my monthly rate go up $15 ?

    Reply
  6. magikwyrkz4u

    I don’t think Stan Kasten gives a ff about what is going on with TWC not being able to negotiate with other providers to provide our beloved Dodgers on television. He’s just a slathering troll greedily drooling over all the money he is counting on the way to the bank. All I know is that I will stand by my commitment to not buy any Dodger licensed merchandise until I am able to watch my team at a reasonable price on TV. As such, this just reminds me more each day how corporate greed has taken over all of life and how disgusted I am with it.
    As a low income fan, and with that resonating in my head, I am beginning to lose faith that I will ever watch or see another Dodger game in my lifetime, and thereby see my interest in the Dodgers slowly falling to the wayside where I don’t care anymore bout what they do and where they go as a team.

    Reply

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