Baseball season is about to start, and not a single Dodger game is slated to be broadcast on free local TV. It doesn't get much better with radio, where Vin Scully will call only a few innings of some games.
And yet, things are still looking up for L.A. baseball fans, we're told. That's because Time Warner Cable, which distributes the Dodgers-owned SportsNet LA that covers the team's game, has lowered its asking price for the channel in an effort to end the local blackout of all but 1.8 million Southern California pay-TV customers.
Readers aren't mollified. As of Friday, not a single one wrote to The Times to express relief at the possibility of the Dodgers finally appearing on TV. Her are some of their letters.
Bart Braverman of Los Angeles wants the Dodgers on TV to be free:
Broadcast sports is like a mother's love: It should always be there, unconditional and free of charge.
What if you mother suddenly imposed a charge for a hug? Not a big charge, maybe a quarter. Everybody's got a quarter. But bit by bit the charge goes up until you find yourself having to choose between lunch with friends and a hug from Mom.
This is a capitalist society. I get that — everyone wants to build a better mousetrap and sell it. If you want to see a ballgame in person you have to buy a ticket. But when unbridled greed becomes a standard of behavior, we all lose.
Santa Barbara resident David Carlberg notes the bait-and-switch being used to lure cable companies:
I had to chuckle when I read about the discount deal Time Warner Cable is offering other pay TV companies to carry Dodger games. That the deal is temporary reminded me of the TV ads cable companies shower us with.
They'll say "$29.95 a month," and in fine print that almost exceeds the resolution of the TV screen, "for the first six months."
It seems Time Warner Cable is using the same flim-flam on other cable companies that the companies use on potential customers.
James King of Covina doesn't want to subsidize TV for baseball fans:
Thank you for mentioning the non-Dodger fan who would be asked to subsidize the Dodger fan in your editorial on Thursday, even though you didn't get around to mentioning us until the next-to-last paragraph.
All of the news coverage focuses on the Dodger fan being denied his beloved baseball. The non-Dodger fan who is being asked to subsidize the Dodger fan is seldom mentioned.
If Time Warner Cable believes that the Dodger fan is so interested in watching the game, why doesn't it agree to the channel being carried as a premium channel and letting the fans pay the true cost of providing their entertainment? It is bad enough that the price of everyday goods is inflated by the excessive cost of advertising products during sporting events.