The Los Angeles Dodgers are 10 days away from playing their first regular season game in Australia and 18 days away from their stateside Opening Day in San Diego.
As of now, only Dodger fans with Time Warner Cable or Bright House Networks will be able to catch any of the games past those first three games because no other provider has made a deal to carry SportsNet LA, the Dodgers’ new channel.
According to David Lieberman of Deadline.com, Time Warner Cable’s CEO is not concerned about deals getting done:
But TWC chief Rob Marcus says he isn’t worried: “Not surprisingly all of the action happens on the eve of opening day”, he told the Deutsche Bank Annual Media, Internet & Telecom Conference this morning. It’s the typical game that occurs.
Marcus is more than likely referring to the March 30 opening date against the Padres, rather than the two-game opening series against the Diamondbacks in Australia. This gives TWC and the other cable providers less than three weeks to get a deal done. Dish Network has already stated that they don’t feel it’s necessary to carry the channel and could refrain, much like they did with the Los Angeles Lakers’ channel, Time Warner Cable SportsNet. Fans have already missed every spring training game and other Dodger-related programming thus far on the new channel and could be shut out of regular season games beginning April 1.
Because of the lack of deals, the Dodgers have been promoting the #ineedmydodgers campaign and urging fans to demand their cable provider pick up the channel at ineedmydodgers.com. TWC has also released a couple episodes of their program “Backstage: Dodgers” on the website to give fans a taste of what they can see on the new channel. It seems as if TWC is banking on the pressure of fans missing regular season games to push the providers into making a deal in order to avoid customer dissatisfaction for not carrying the channel.
ICYMI: Clayton Kershaw is honored to start Game 1 in Australia for the Dodgers