Being a Los Angeles Dodgers fan is tough. Not because of how well the team is performing (they’re doing just fine), but because it can be quite the headache to try to find your favorite team on TV, even if you’re in Los Angeles.
An ongoing carriage standoff between SportsNet LA and pretty much all of the cable/satellite providers (but specifically DirecTV) has resulted in the majority of local residents being unable to watch the Dodgers on TV. And this standoff has been going on for five seasons, if you can believe it. When Spectrum (then Time Warner Cable) bought the TV rights for $8.35 billion over 25 years, they effectively put themselves in a position to call all the shots. They can just keep the TV rights for themselves and try to attract new customers, and if a rival wants the rights to show games, they’re gonna have to pay through the roof. As you might imagine, those companies don’t want to do that.
So, Dodgers fans are left to scramble as they try to figure out how to watch their team without heading to a bar or swapping their cable system. One small way that’s been helping them get by is simulcasts of Dodger games on the local KTLA5 network in town. KTLA and Spectrum partnered for a couple simulcasts earlier in the season and the good news is that they now have plans to do it again. Spectrum SportsNet LA announced Tuesday that they will simulcast five Los Angeles Dodgers games on KTLA5, which also includes showing SportsNet LA’s flagship pregame show, “Access SportsNet: Dodgers,” prior to each game.
The two companies have previously simulcast games in 2014 and 2016 and appear to have figured out a reasonable agreement that allows them to continue working together.
The deal includes four August games and one in September that will air on KTLA. The first game is set for Saturday, August 4 when the Houston Astros come to town for a rematch of the 2017 World Series. The other simulcasts include games with the San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Arizona Diamondbacks, and New York Mets.
Enjoy your simulcasts while you can, Dodgers fans. Because that’s about all you can get locally for now.