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Magic Johnson Discusses Dodgers TV Blackout, Compares to Yankees

The Dodgers are in the midst of a long TV blackout.

Dodgers
Andrew Martinez-Dodgers Nation

The Dodgers’ television blackout is ridiculous — any fan can agree to that. When the Dodgers organization signed a 25-year, $8.35 billion pact with Time Warner Cable to be their primary television coverage provider, many questioned how it would impact the integrity of the game. In a way, it has made it unfair for small market teams to compete with the Dodgers. While the Dodgers certainly reap the benefits, they do continue to pinch pennies and almost seem to have a phobia of going over the competitive balance tax threshold. With all that money, where does it go?

That contract provides the Dodgers somewhere in the neighborhood of $334 million per year. The Dodgers allocated approximately $190 million to payroll in 2019. That leaves a $144 million difference that is put somewhere. The Dodgers have continued to renovate Chavez Ravine, but where are the renovations for the on-field product? It is a guarantee that the majority of fans want to see a World Series more than they want to see chef tours and an updated center field pavilion.

Dodgers minority owner Magic Johnson spoke on the Dodgers’ current TV blackout at the Yext Onward19 Conference in New York City. He noted that the deal has made the club a good amount of money.

This is almost a slap in the face to the fan base. The big heads at the top of the food chain continue to profit the big dollars while the players are having their service time manipulated — in an effort to limit their profits — and fans are left to watch their clubs struggle in the postseason. Simply put, Guggenheim Baseball Management has done a great job at doing the ‘adequate’ as opposed to going above and beyond to put the best product on the field. There is a reason why the Dodgers continue to get shown the door in October. This ownership group takes their fans for granted — and most of the Greater Los Angeles Area still does not get to watch their team on television. What a joke.

As Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times notes, the Dodgers’ blackout has lasted six seasons in total. The Yankees’ blackout only lasted one.

At this point, enough is enough. Coming from someone who does have Spectrum now and did not used to, I can share your pain. It’s been far too long and the Dodgers owe it to their fan base to change this thing. Still, do not expect them to.

Written by Daniel Preciado

My name is Daniel Preciado and I am 18 years old. I am a sophomore Sport Analytics major and Cognitive Science and Economics dual minor at Syracuse University. When I am not in New York, I live in Whittier, California --- not too far from Chavez Ravine. I am pretty old-school for being an analytics guy and I will always embrace debate. Also, Chase Utley did absolutely nothing wrong.

8 Comments

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  1. Well just like anything supply and demand i want it and the supply comes from Spectrum so i pay for it, but i do think it sucks for fans that don’t or can’t do this but i understand it is business but they need to find a way I’m assuming they are stuck in a pretty lock tight contract with Time Warner/Spectrum they have to figure something out i can only hold so many watch parties for friends for so long.

  2. You should have mentioned that the profit you used in paragraph 2 was just based on the TV contract and that the 144 million profit doesn’t count the money made on attendance, beer sales, food and all the other profit streams of the team. With about 4 million coming through the gates why would the ownership care about the tv situation. I would think TWC, Spectrum, or whoever owns the TV contract would be more active in getting their product out there. DirectTV says they don’t want to raise their rates to accommodate the Dodgers channel, so why not offer games as an “on demand” option? That would give the providers some money (and isn’t some better than none?) and the fans that want to watch (pay for) the games could.

    • And Direct TV is a nationwide provider and has to know that Dodger fans don’t all reside in LA. There are fans throughout the U.S. and even in the Dominican Republic, Cuba and so on. I am not sure raising rates would even be necessary with this in mind.

  3. As a fan who feels, as you put it, slapped in the face and taken advantage of, I will never change to Spectrum just to watch games, nor will I spend any money going to games either! Unfortunately, there are way to many others who do so why should the ownership change a thing? They are making bank for supplying a team with just enough to keep you interested but not enough to win it all and 4 million fans say “thank you” leaving behind a huge chunk of change with this joke of an ownership and McCourt who still gets his from the parking!

  4. “The Dodgers have continued to renovate Chavez Ravine, but where are the renovations for the on-field product? It is a guarantee that the majority of fans want to see a World Series more than they want to see chef tours and an updated center field pavilion”
    It’s safe for me to say that about 100% of the fan base believes the above says it all about this current Dodger regime.

  5. Boy is this ever the whole truth and nothing but the truth…
    ” There is a reason why the Dodgers continue to get shown the door in October. This ownership group takes their fans for granted — and most of the Greater Los Angeles Area still does not get to watch their team on television. What a joke.”
    Really folks, no further comments needed to explain it any better than this.

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