The Los Angeles Dodgers and its flagship cable network, Spectrum SportsNet LA continue to struggle find carriage in Southern California. The dispute that has kept the network off DirecTV and other pay TV providers in the market is now entering its fourth season. And it has angered Dodgers fans who haven’t been able to watch their team’s games. A deal is expected to announced that will put 10 games on KTLA, all of which would be aired in April and May.

The deal which is expected to announced this week, possibly as early as today would allow fans all over the Dodgers market to watch.

While Spectrum SportsNet LA has simulcast the final week of games on KDOC and KTLA in 2014 and 2016, this is the first time that the Dodgers are working on a separate broadcast deal before the season under its 25-year contract with Time Warner Cable now Charter Communications which purchased TWC in 2016.

The Dodgers own Spectrum SportsNet LA while Time Warner first and now Charter Communications has exclusive marketing rights. For the duration of the 25-year contract, the Dodgers are guaranteed $8.35 billion no matter how many people watch so it’s incumbent on Spectrum to get agreements with the other providers, but it has yet to happen.

And while this plays out, a lawsuit against AT&T and DirecTV is circulating in federal court saying the company violated antitrust law saying it colluded with other carriers in trying to keep SportsNet LA off the major pay TV carriers. AT&T is denying the charge.

DirecTV says Spectrum SportsNet LA is too expensive to carry while SportsNet LA contends the provider is not negotiating in good faith.

So this all this continues while the Dodgers are trying to get their games seen. If this 10-game contract brings good numbers to KTLA, Charter hopes it will put pressure on DirecTV and the other SoCal providers to pick up Spectrum SportsNet. And perhaps it will lead to more games on broadcast later this season.

For Dodgers fans, the last four seasons have been very frustrating and they’re caught in the middle of a stalemate that has gone on way too long.

[Los Angeles Times]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

  • MrBull

    This will not get Directv or other systems to pick up SportsNet LA…while the tv deal with TWC is great financially for the Dodgers, it is the worst sports tv deal ever….
    In all honesty, the Dodgers and Lakers should be on one channel together as there is just not a market for two single sports team channels….

  • Carter_Burger67

    With all the TV stations in LA, there has to be one station willing to put the Dodgers, and Lakers, on a .2 or .3 channel. In fact, why not set up a paying stream channel? Cable stays relevant because people keep making them relevant. I cut the cord three months ago and now with my subscriptions, which are still cheaper than my cable bill, I’m able to watch more of what I want.

  • BD

    “The deal … would allow fans all over the Dodgers market to watch.” No.
    I live in Santa Barbara, 90 northwest of LA, pretty solid Dodger country. And we are in the Dodger market – MLB Network is blacked out for Dodger games.
    Before the Spectrum deal, our cable carrier here had the over the air and regional sports network that broadcast the Dodgers. KTLA is the Los Angeles CW affiliate and there is a “local” (out of San Luis Obispo, another 90 miles north from SB) affiliate which serves Santa Barbara that is absolute garbage and does not carry the same programming as KTLA.
    And the last couple of years when a few games were released to over the air network, they were not carried here.
    So still out of luck in here.

  • DrewShervin

    Through a decision by the courts CSN Philadelphia has been made available to DirectTV. Just like situation in LA the satellite provider has no interest in paying the carry cost that the RSN wants to charge. This denies people who are DTV subscribers the Phillies, Flyers and 76ers. DTV says that Spectrum is too expensive to carry. I sure the Spectrum offered to go to arbitration but just like in Philadelphia DTV is afraid of losing.

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