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New MLB Streaming Rights Gives Dodgers an Opportunity to Fix TV Blackout

MLB will allow teams to sell streaming rights in 2020

When the Dodgers and Spectrum (then-Time Warner Cable) stuck a record-setting $8.35 billion deal over 25 years to create SportsNet LA, the exclusive home of Dodgers games back in 2013, a large majority of fans were suddenly shut out.

Gone were the days of being able to see the Dodgers and hear Vin Scully call games on KCAL 9 or on Fox Sports West. Major TV providers such as DirecTV and Dish refused to pay Spectrum’s high pricetag, and suddenly 70% of the LA market did not have access to see the Dodgers on TV. The team has alienated a large portion of their fanbase over the last six years with their Spectrum deal, but a new opportunity has arisen for the Dodgers to make things right.

Fox Business reported that MLB will allow all 30 teams to sell their own streaming rights ahead of the 2020 season, opening the door for clubs to expand their digital footprint as more viewers make the switch from cable and satellite.

However, teams are still subject to their existing TV deals before they can move on to prospective streaming deals.

This means that the Dodgers could potentially have a separate streaming deal, one that could possibly reach more fans than Spectrum. The fans who haven’t been able to see their favorite team on TV for six seasons could finally be able to again.

That is considering though, that the Dodgers actually make a deal that would enable that kind of access. They could very possibly work out something with Spectrum that makes them the exclusive streamer as well, who knows.

The opportunity is there, it’s up to the team to decide if they want to welcome their fans back in the new decade.

Written by Andres Soto

2 Comments

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  1. I have watched the Dodgers for years through MLBTV.
    I live in the San Francisco East Bay Area, I am a Oakland A’s season ticket holder. With my season tickets come access to MLB TV to watch all non local games.
    Therefore I get to watch all MLB games except ones televised locally in the Bay Area.
    I don’t need to but some can also get a VPN which will show your IP address as say in Nebraska and you can then get all games. When I travel out of the country I have watched the Dodgers in my hotel room in Germany and also in Eastern Europe. So bottom line is if someone really wants to watch the games it can be done right on their big screen TV.

  2. MLB’s black out rule is among the most indefensible rules of all time. For instance, as a resident of Columbus, Ohio, I am unable to stream the Indians, the Reds, and, for some unknown reason, the Pirates. Now, streaming DOES interfere with the exclusive rights of Fox Sports Ohio and Sportstime Ohio to broadcast the Reds and Indians (respectively) in my area. However, NO MEDIA EXISTS IN MY AREA TO BROADCAST THE PIRATES! I cannot fathom what MLB is trying to do here. I’m not a Pirates fan, but it just doesn’t make sense.

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