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The second half begins and somehow the Dodgers still aren't on TV

Los Angeles DodgersTelevision IndustryTelevisionMagic JohnsonDon MattinglyBaseballTime Warner Cable Inc.
Did you see the #Dodgers' two no-hitters this season? Probably not if you live in L.A.

The first half is over, and how 'bout those Dodgers? Did you see those no-hitters by Clayton Kershaw and Josh Beckett? The exciting Dee Gordon leading the majors in stolen bases and triples? The Yasiel Puig throws and bat flips?

What, no? Not one lousy Dodgers moment?

It was an interesting first half, but guess at least 70% of you will have to take my word for it.

The Dodgers’ Great Blackout of 2014 continues. Remarkably, incredibly, almost unbelievably.

The super-rich just can’t get together and settle this, and there is absolutely no reason to believe they will soon. Blame Time Warner Cable, blame DirecTV, blame the Dodgers, I don’t care if you blame Gary Oldman. Fans no longer care who’s to blame, they just want their Dodgers on the dang TV.

Remember when team President and CEO Stan Kasten said in spring training: “Historically, these deals get done much closer to opening day, sometimes a little before, sometimes a little after, but the history, the overwhelming history, in city after city after city, is that these deals get done, because everyone has the same interest.”

Apparently not. The days and games go by, and still no Dodgers on TV. It’s crazy, but on it goes.

Remember when Magic Johnson told The Times’ Bill Shaikin in April that if the deal wasn’t done soon, he was going to put executives from Time Warner Cable and DirecTV in a room and use his presence to get a deal done?

“I would love to do that,” Johnson said. “If this thing isn't over soon, I'm taking your advice, for these fans.”

How’d that work out? Johnson is currently on his annual month-long Mediterranean vacation hanging out on yachts with the likes of good buddy Samuel L. Jackson.

The whole thing is maddening. Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said that at the beginning of the season fans would complain to him about the team's lack of TV availability.

“Early on a little bit,” Mattingly said. “When the season first started, there seemed to be more talk with people out there at the beach. Recently, no.”

What, everyone is suddenly resigned to life without the Dodgers on the tube? Guess it’s tough to keep a good outrage going when, you know, this thing could be settled at any moment.

In an effort to get this resolved, the Dodgers claim they’re talking to the two sides every day. About what, Syria?

“We're frustrated about it, too,” team chairman Mark Walter told The Times' Dylan Hernandez. “I feel really sorry about the fact that we can't get everybody to be able to see it. We're working really hard to get it done.”

Work harder. Work a lot harder. Didn’t we all learn in the ’80s that greed actually wasn’t good? Was Howard Baker really the last great conciliator?

Mattingly said he went through this in New York when the Yankees started the YES network.

“It took a little while to get everybody on board,” he said. “I think it will get settled. It’s just a matter of time.”

It took YES two years to get everyone on board.

The Dodgers lead the majors in attendance, but why not if most fans can’t watch them at home? The Dodgers average more in attendance (46,000 per game) than they do in viewers (43,000) on their TV channel.

Time Warner paid $8.35 billion to broadcast the Dodgers over 25 years. Pretty sure they were planning on showing the games throughout the market, not just their own 30% of it.

The Dodgers started the second half of their season Friday just two games out in the National League West. They’re must-watch TV for  local sports fans. If only they could actually see it.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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Los Angeles DodgersTelevision IndustryTelevisionMagic JohnsonDon MattinglyBaseballTime Warner Cable Inc.
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