Opening the season in Sydney, Australia has presented the Los Angeles Dodgers with logistical issues that generally aren’t present in the preparations for Opening Day. They played a compressed Spring Training schedule so as to allow the necessary time for the team to travel to Sydney and work on adjusting their biological clocks, but one factor out of the team’s control — different time zones — has presented another challenge.
The 18-hour time difference means first pitch of the 2014 season will be at 1 a.m. local time in California and Arizona, which is a far cry from a routine Opening Day. Not to mention, SportsNet LA isn’t available to anyone without Time Warner Cable and Vin Scully discussed the matter to Tom Hoffarth of the LA Daily News:
I guess it will feel strange to know we’re not going to be seen by the big audience we always have, he said. But the first game will be at 1 in the morning in Los Angeles.”
Along with the game starting at an odd hour in the regions of the Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks, many Dodger fans are particularly stuck with little options. Currently, the Dodgers’ network is carried by TWC and Bright House Networks as negotiations with other cable providers are ongoing. Some fans have opted to switch cable providers but others continue to wait for deals to be struck, which Dodgers president Stan Kasten recently said he isn’t concerned about.
Kasten’s remarks echoed a similar sentiment from TWC CEO Rob Marcus, who acknowledged negotiations of this nature often drag up until the last minute. What to consider as the deadline is a bit unclear. After the two Opening Series games, the Dodgers return for three exhibition games before the regular season resumes on March 30. However, that game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN, which means the negotiations could carry into early April when the Dodgers truly begin playing a normal regular season schedule.
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