MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred worries that the Dodgers’ TV blackout could continue

Rob Manfred

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred speaks with reporters Monday in West Palm Beach, Fla. 

(Steve Mitchell / Associated Press)

The majority of households in Los Angeles have not been able to watch the Dodgers on television for the last two seasons.

Speaking Tuesday morning at the general managers meetings, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred acknowledged he was worried the blackout could extend into a third season.

“My concern could not be higher,” Manfred said. “I think that the Dodgers and the Los Angeles market are crucial to Major League Baseball and its reach. This has gone on a long time.”

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Manfred said he is optimistic SportsNet LA, the Dodgers-owned cable channel, could have more widespread distribution in time for next season.

“I’m hopeful that there are dynamics in play beyond baseball, in terms of corporate activity, that may create some flexibility and, hopefully, we will get a resolution in time for the 2016 season,” he said.

Charter Cable is in the process of a proposed takeover of Time Warner Cable, which has distribution rights for SportsNet LA. Once federal regulators approve the merger -- the companies are hopeful that can happen before the start of the upcoming season -- Charter will attempt to sell SportsNet LA to cable and satellite operators that don’t already carry the channel.



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