The Los Angeles Dodgers are in the third month of their regular season yet 70 percent of Los Angeles is unable to watch games that aren’t national broadcasts from the comfort of their own home.
Time Warner Cable and other cable distributors haven’t come to terms for the rights to carry SportsNet LA, an all-Dodgers network that the team co-owns. Along with discussing the Dodgers’ current state, controlling owner Mark Walter expressed frustration over the TV dispute, via Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:
We’re frustrated about it, too,” Walter said. “I feel really sorry about the fact that we can’t get everybody to be able see it. We’re working really hard to get it done.
Despite being frustrated with the situation, Walter suggested talks are ongoing and added he’s optimistic:
I think there’s a lot of communication going on. I’m optimistic.”
In April, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti was critical of TWC and other cable distributors for not yet having a deal in place and pleaded with them to get one in place. Since that point, Dodgers president Stan Kasten suggested fans switch from DirecTV as he believes they will not add SportsNet LA to their programming this season.
Although they have yet to add SportsNet LA, DirecTV increased their regional sports network fee in what was another twist in the frustrating situation. DirecTV and TWC were at odds when the Los Angeles Lakers launched a similar network two years ago, but that was resolved within the first two weeks of the regular season.
Walter may have shared his optimism but with no clear signs of progress being made, it’s difficult to envision the blackout coming to an end anytime soon.
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