At the time, television was still in its infancy. Regular programming did not yet exist, and very few people owned television sets—there were only about in the New York area. Not until did regular network broadcasting catch on in the United States, and only in the mids did television sets become more common in the American household.
But that has been the effect.
By now being unable to see Dodgers games on TV in Southern California has become a bit of a tradition. Actually, it is the return of a tradition, as I will explain later. Commissioner Rob Manfred has been talking for a couple years about somehow solving this problem. It is telling that as the Chicago Cubs attempt to create a TV network with the help of Sinclair Broadcasting, they want to avoid the most lucrative version of an MLB team-owned network.
Instead the Cubs want to emulate the New York Yankees. It is also telling that, for once, the Yankees are not the poster boys for avarice and greed. Around 1.
The games are only available to Spectrum cable TV subscribers. The games are not carried by DirectTV or Dish. Dodgers games were not available through streaming in any form — even for Spectrum subscribers — through last season. When the channel first started, it was only available to Time Warner Cable subscribers in the Los Angeles area and to Bright House subscribers in Bakersfield.
But you can make that choice. No takers Time Warner Cable started the channel with the Dodgers. Time Warner Cable also wanted to require the multichannel operators to carry the Dodgers channel part of the basic package. That way Time Warner Cable could charge for all subscribers, not just big fans who bought a sports-premium upgrade.
The carriage-fee-as-the-major-source-of-revenue was pioneered by ESPN, and cable and satellite providers hate it. While most people watch little or no sports, enough do, or want to be able to, that multichannel operators have had to cough up big bucks and pass on the cost to all their subscribers.
This time, everyone held out, and guess what? There were not that many cancellations — at least as far as the companies could tell in an era when customers are switching to alternative ways of getting programming.
Time Warner lowered the price by a buck. Still no takers. Again the answer was no. Dish and DirectTV seem to have decided they would lose more subscribers with a price hike to accommodate Dodgers fans than they would gain by adding the games.
There is definitely an audience. Even with the limited availability of Dodgers games, their broadcasts were viewed by , households on average, significantly more than the Angels. The commissioner would like to tap into that audience in his efforts to grow the game.
But Charter has paid handsomely for the rights to these games. Pioneers of the tube The Dodgers have had an unusual relationship with TV through the decades. By the early s, the Dodgers were televising all their home games and about a quarter of their road games on WOR in New York.
The hundreds of thousands of dollars the team received each season from the TV station kept the Dodgers profitable, even as attendance dipped. They banned any pay TV franchise in the city. As it turned out, it was much ado about nothing. Skiatron had neither the technology nor the financial wherewithal to make the pay-per-game subscription a reality.
Both teams severely limited the number of games on local TV. The Dodgers televised road games against the Giants and vice versa. And the teams still liked the pay-per-game subscription idea.
In the Giants and Dodgers were ready to try the pay experiment with a company called Subscription Television. A test game was shown on July 17, available to 2, homes in a four-square-mile area of Los Angeles.
But movie theater owners backed an anti-pay-TV initiative, and California voters passed it in November The Dodgers were slow to expand their slate of televised games on free TV and basic cable. In the Dodgers added Sunday road games to their telecast schedule.
His son Peter took over the team.
Before the season, the Dodgers and the California Angels joined a regional sports network, the Z Network. Thirty-five Dodgers home games were on TV that season.
Sports Channel LA went belly up after the season. The Dodgers had no cable partner for four seasons. KTLA showed about a third of the Dodgers games, with fewer than a dozen home games.
By this time many teams were showing most or even all their games on TV in their local market, usually in a combination of a local TV station and a regional sports network.
In the Dodgers went all in, showing almost every game on Fox Sports West 2. One time someone from the club played a doctor, Doc Woods, for an episode of the Western drama Branded. The actor?
Dylan Hernandez wrote in the Los Angeles Times after the Dodgers made it to the World Series that the money from the TV contract helped make the team more competitive.
But the deal has driven a wedge between the franchise and some of its fans. After the Series one reader wrote to the Los Angeles Times opinion page, saying the reason the Dodgers have lost the past two World Series was bad karma.