Baseball season kicks off today, but the wheels have already fallen off for one team. The partnership between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Time Warner Cable has quickly disintegrated into nothing, and now, with the 2016 games getting ready to begin, Time Warner is urging Dodgers fans to change cable providers if they want to watch more baseball this spring.
It all has to do with Time Warner’s SportsNet LA, a channel that shows more than 150 regular-season Dodgers’ games. The problem is, it’s an incredibly expensive one. While Time Warner says that it has absolutely “offered price concessions this year for the sake of getting a deal done,” attempting to bring DirecTV and Cox Communications on board, nobody’s been biting. So now, Time Warner is encouraging dedicated Dodgers fans who don’t get SportsNet LA (basically everyone who isn’t already a TW subscriber), to come over to its side.
When discussing attempted deals with other cable providers, Time Warner Cable spokesman Andrew Fegyveresi said Thursday, “They’ve rejected every offer we’ve made. We’ve offered short-term deals and long-term deals, we’ve lowered the price by 30 percent, we’ve asked for arbitration, we’ve offered … the same thing they charge for their regional sports networks, we’ve told them we’d meet them any time, anywhere to negotiate and nothing has worked.” As such, the company says, “Fans should switch to Time Warner Cable … if they want to see the Dodgers.”
Sadly, just under 2 million households currently have access to the Dodgers via SportsNet LA, and nearly 70 percent of the LA market was left in the dark when it came to the National League West champions last season. This year is also a particularly important one for Dodgers fans, as it will be the 68th and final season of commentary by Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully.
Representatives from other cable companies have not yet commented on their refusal to make a deal, but 2016 is looking to be another dark season for Dodgers fan on TV.