Dodger games now come at a higher price
March 25, 2014
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Up until this year, watching a Los Angeles Dodgers game on television was as easy as tuning into Fox Sports or KCAL9.
The familiar yet paternal sound of Vin Scully’s voice welcomed fans of all backgrounds who diligently watched every Dodgers game that was broadcast.
Although many fans predicted that the Dodgers would have signed a lucrative television deal, no one could have expected that so many fans remain unable to watch their favorite baseball team play.
Unfortunately, the days of simple access to televised Dodgers games are over.
Last year, Dodgers executives signed a deal with Time Warner Cable worth $8.35 million over 25 years, according to USA Today. The deal effectively gave TWC exclusive rights to broadcast the Dodgers for the next quarter-century.
As one might expect, fans who are not signed up to TWC are upset their carriers won’t pay the high fees to broadcast Dodgers games.
Is TWC right to expect companies to pay $4 to $5 per subscriber per month to carry Dodgers games?
Whether fans enjoy it or not, money is now an integral part of baseball. Acting like it doesn’t have a place in professional sports is foolish.
All parties involved should reach a compromise and meet in the middle. The longer companies wait to make a deal, the longer Dodgers fans will wait in the dark.
When the Dodgers played their opening game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Australia last week, the L.A. Times reported that as much as 70 percent of people in the Los Angeles television market were unable to watch the game.
If this trend continues, only a third of Dodgers fans will watch the opening home series against the San Francisco Giants.
Is $4 to $5 per subscriber per month too much? Not necessarily.
According to USA Today, ESPN receives $5.40 per subscriber per month. Yes, ESPN is much more comprehensive than a Dodgers channel ever would be, but to call TWC’s demands unprecedented is going too far.
What’s the worst that could happen if cable and satellite companies succumb to TWC’s demands?
The issue here is making baseball accessible for all interested parties. Any move that doesn’t put Dodgers games on television for all is a step backwards.
Critics of TWC may say that the company’s price demands are too high.
But, at the end of the day, who is really fair to judge? Many Americans pay for channels that they never watch. Americans complaining about having to pay for channels like TNT or FX are few and far between.
If a deal cannot be reached, Dodgers fans could possibly be forced to commit the ultimate sin and resort to watching Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim games. Let’s hope this won’t be the case.