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Dodgers Held Accountable for Lack of TV Dates

March 7th, 2018 · No Comments · Baseball, Dodgers

In The Los Angeles Times, columnist Bill Plaschke has done a laudable thing:

Hold the Dodgers accountable for the club’s lack of TV exposure in most of its home market.

The Dodgers are entering their fifth season of games that most of their fans cannot see.

This goes back to the fateful, 25-year, $8.35 billion deal with Time Warner Cable made in 2014.

Time Warner Cable figured it could make back the enormous amount of money by squeezing other providers, making them pay more (much more) to gain access to the Dodgers.

Time Warner Cable was wrong.

Several companies, led by DirecTV, decided the fee demanded by Time Warner Cable was too high and refused to pay.

That was in 2014, and we now are a month away from what will be the fifth consecutive season with the Dodgers blacked out to most of the L.A. market.

It is one of the most astonishing and infuriating failures in the history of the franchise.

Not that the Dodgers would see it that way. They continue to urge fans to demand that their provider cave in and buy the SportsNet LA package that carries the Dodgers.

That is not happening and, so, the team continues to be absent on the airwaves for a huge chunk of consumers, and the Dodgers’ TV ratings remain among the the bottom five in ball, according to Plaschke.

Amazing stuff.

The Dodgers like to appear as if this is out of their hands, but when they signed that 25-year, $8.35 million contract in 2014, what did they think was going to happen? Did they not bother with thinking it through? “Hey, it’s going to mean a huge rate hike for fans.”

No, they knew. And they figured the fans (and their providers) would roll over and pay whatever it took.

The Dodgers are not giving back that $8.35 billion; and the providers remain deadlocked.

So, the Dodgers remain off the air, aside from a handful of games — five, to be exact — that will be made available on free-to-air station KTLA.

Plaschke’s comment piece focuses on a 97-year-old man who hoped he could watch his favorite team (well, formerly favorite) before he died.

He didn’t make it. The fan died last month.

And the Dodgers blackout goes on.

It is good that Plaschke reminded everyone of that. The story needs to be kept current and the alienation made clear.

Meanwhile, fans can hope that the Dodgers use their influence to solve this. While those fans are still alive.


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