Vin Scully does not get SportsNet LA in his home. Peter O'Malley does not. Fred Claire does not.
Claire was the general manager the last time the Dodgers won the
If you are in the vast majority of fans without
No one roots for a cable or satellite company. This is an outrage to the fans who just want to see their team, and who have less than zero interest in the public finger-pointing between TWC and
"Don't mind me," read one reply. "I'm just sitting here in a blackout missing all the action."
Johnson said he does not read his Twitter replies to get a sense of fan anger.
"I don't have to," he said. "I'm everywhere in the community. I get it every day. When I'm working out, I get it.
"People are fascinated with this team, especially when the
Dodgers President Stan Kasten acknowledged that he has told fans he expects DirecTV to hold out all season.
"It's an issue that consumes us every day," Kasten said. "We are doing all that we can behind the scenes to help
TWC, not the Dodgers, has the responsibility to make deals with other cable and satellite providers. TWC owes the Dodgers so much money — $8.35 billion over 25 years — that there is little to no room to cut the asking price for SportsNet LA without taking a huge financial hit.
The Dodgers are not about to take less money from TWC — their take after revenue sharing with
When TWC launched the Lakers channel two years ago, the smaller providers got on board first — Charter, Cox, AT&T U-Verse,
If you take DirecTV at its word, that it is holding out for a more reasonable financial deal, then there should be room to resolve the dispute.
"It's easy to compromise on dollars and cents," one sports industry insider said. "If it's philosophical, that's tougher to solve."
If DirecTV is using the Dodgers to draw its line in the sand against the proliferation of high-cost sports channels, this could be a long-term blackout. After all, how much more should local viewers pay for sports that have expanded from two cable channels to FS West, Prime Ticket, SportsNet LA, TWC SportsNet and the Pac-12 Networks?
Yet, DirecTV knows full well that its proposed solution — let the fans who want the Dodgers channel pay for it — is a non-starter.
There are about 1.5 million TWC households in the Los Angeles market. The average Dodgers game on SportsNet LA so far has attracted about 50,000 viewers, with a high of 93,000. If TWC wished to charge all customers $5 per month for SportsNet LA, the a la carte charge for a channel watched by such a small fraction of customers would be higher, much, much higher.
That relatively low level of viewership might indicate why Mayor
That should not stop Garcetti from summoning executives from the Dodgers, DirecTV and TWC to his office and cajoling them toward a settlement, whatever it might be. When New Yorkers went two years without their Yankees on the new YES Network, the mayor, governor and attorney general all worked to broker a deal.
"You shouldn't underestimate the bully pulpit," said Leo Hindery, at the time the chief executive of the YES Network.
Dodgers fans might have boycotted home games toward the end of
"I think the Dodgers brand is way bigger than one screw-up," one major league executive said.
In the meantime, cable and satellite providers other than TWC are offering discounts and goodies to subscribers complaining about the unavailability of the Dodgers, so be sure to call and get yours. The Dodgers have not said what gestures they might offer to fans inconvenienced by the blackout.
"We're hoping it gets over with," Johnson said.
Come to think of it, Johnson might be able to help. Can you imagine a glowering 6-foot-10 owner locking executives from TWC and DirecTV in a room, then looking down and demanding they 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."