Ok Dodgers and Time Warner Cable, time to get your sh*t together. This is MY blog so I can write what I want. And I am so mad at you both right now, its not even funny. Seriously. I’m not laughing, and I like to laugh. With #Cuse heading into the #Elite8, I’ve got enough to worry about. Whether or not I’m going to be able to watch the Dodgers on opening day, let alone the whole season, shouldn’t add to the list.
When I read the tweet 2 days ago that TWC had made an offer to cut their TV deal for the Dodgers some 30%, I was thrilled. It’s been a very long 3 seasons of not being able to watch the hometown team on TV. For a team, and a sport, that values community connection, the Dodgers have done nothing to put their massive fan base first. As opening day looms, and the career of longtime Dodger announcer Vin Scully comes to a close, the organization owes it to its fans to figure this mess out.
The Dodgers saw all green in 2013 when they made their record 25 year, $8.35 billion dollar deal with TWC for the media rights to air games. But they didn’t think it through, and foresee that TWC would have to sell the rights for a huge price in order to justify their investment. Since then, Time Warner Cable has been in dispute with major carriers DirecTV, AT&T, Verizon and Cox Communications, who say the subscriber fee has been over market value. Yes, TWC has opened the door for negotiation by offering SportsNet LA (the home of Dodger baseball) for a 30% discount, but it’s for the upcoming season only. Who would take that deal? Can you imagine fan reaction if they were to finally get their Dodger games for a season, only to be dropped again should the re-negotiation price next year be once again too high?
The Dodger brand is suffering. They need to take a page out of the Jeannie Buss and Lakers playbook. Buss, as head of Lakers operations, has worked very hard to build that community connection which has continually grown under her watch – some might say to the detriment of the team. Kobe Bryant’s farewell tour and playing time have been criticized for slowing the development of their younger talent. Fans seems to be happy though. Personally, I get teary every time I see one of those “farewell videos” an opposing team plays before a Laker game. HOW ARE THE DODGERS GOING TO JUSTIFY FANS BEING KEPT FROM VIN SCULLY’S FAREWELL TOUR?
They can’t. So, swallow your pride oh-Dodger Blue, and open that bank account. Keep negotiating, but give your fans a chunk of free games this season so we can watch and support and get teary listening to the ONLY announcer the Dodger organization has EVER had. #ItsTimeForDodgerBaseball