At the conclusion of Sunday’s games, baseball considered the first half of the 2014 season over. For the Los Angeles Dodgers and several other teams, they had technically already surpassed the midway point of their respective 162-game schedules.
The Dodgers are 54-43, good for first place in the National League West and NL.
SportsNet LA’s availability remains scarce as other cable providers have yet to come to terms for the rights to add the Dodgers’ network to their programming. DirecTV is at the forefront of the dispute and were the target of a recent SportsNet LA advertisement.
Placed in Sunday’s print edition of the LA Times, SportsNet LA accused DirecTV of wanting a double standard deal. SportsNet LA addressed DirecTV in a series of what they describe as facts, beginning with the subscriber fee:
Fact #1: The claim that we want $5.00 per subscriber is false. SportsNet LA’s price is comparable to — and in some cases lower than — other regional sports networks. Our proposed pricing would not even make it the most expensive regional sports network in Southern California.
Next was comparing DirecTV’s most recent offer to what they charge for comparable sports networks:
Fact #2: DirecTV is not actively negotiating for an agreement, and their latest offer to us would amount to substantially less than what their own sports channels charge for the Rockies and Mariners.
SportsNet LA then pointed to DirecTV raising the price for their regional sports package:
Fact #3: DirecTV raised their regional sports surcharge 80% in February, on the eve of the SportsNet LA launch, but instead of giving fans the Dodgers — or giving their customers a refund — DirecTV is pocketing the money.
Lastly was the seldom-reported claim DirecTV would like to have the authority to no longer carry the network at their discretion:
DirecTV says they want to drop the Dodgers if they don’t play well. These are terms DirecTV refuses to even consider for their own regional sports network.
While speaking at a press conference for the All-Star Game Tuesday, MLB commissioner Bud Selig expressed his concern over the blackout, via Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
Bud Selig said he has "great concerns" about #Dodgers TV situation. Has spoken with parties involved "in past week" but not much MLB can do
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) July 15, 2014
Team president and CEO Stan Kasten voiced his disappointment over the situation and said it was an issue that is constantly being worked on. Disputes of this nature aren’t uncommon but for it to last this long in such a large market does come as somewhat of a surprise.
What initially began as a situation where fans perhaps missed the first few weeks, or even the first few months of the season, now appears to be well on its way towards the majority of Los Angeles being left in the dark for the entire year.
Leaked Houston Astros Trade Talks Reveal Dodgers Shopped Carl Crawford