Dodger Games Once Again Blacked Out for Most Fans


Our coverage of the Blue Blackout continues as we wait for the ruling on the TWC-Comcast merger.

Opening Day is less than a month away. While I am lucky enough to be able to watch SportsNet LA on my television, unfortunately a majority of Dodger fans will be blacked out for the second straight season.

Clayton Kershaw will likely be vying for his fourth Cy Young Award, but Dodger fans who are not Time Warner Cable subscribers will not get the opportunity to see his beautiful curveball on TV. Dish Network already declared their lack of interest in carrying SportsNet LA last season, and none of the other Los Angeles area cable providers have agreed to pay for SportsNet LA either (or pass on the cost to their subscribers). The Blue Blackout (a term coined by me right now), has been further exasperated by the impending decision on the merger between Time Warner Cable and Comcast and the recent net neutrality legislation.

The gargantuan $45 billion merger “is now seen as having no better than a 50-50 chance by many analystsaccording to The process has been slow as a snail, and meanwhile Joc Pederson and Alex Guerrero are collecting hits galore in Spring Training while very few fans can actually see aforementioned hits.

Another proverbial curveball to the merger decision has been the recent net neutrality legislation making headlines. If the merger is approved, Comcast would have more than half of all 25 mbps connections in the U.S. which could be a cause for rejection by the FCC and Justice Department in light of the new net neutrality rules on Title II of the Communications Act. The FCC approved Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal for the new rules on February 26, 2015.

There’s a coalition which formed last year which opposes the merger. Stop Mega Comcast argues that the proposed merger would make Comcast “the gatekeeper of the internet.” The coalition states that are fighting for “a competitive and diverse media and technology marketplace ” according to their website.  

Coalition members include Dish Network and amongst others.

While net neutrality and corporate monopolistic mergers are certainly vitally important issues to consumers and the economy, Dodger fans are once again getting shut out. They have lost their right to watch their favorite team play at a reasonable price. Even though I still contend that Dodger fans should not have to pay to see Yasmani Grandal get thrown out at second base while trying to stretch a single into a double during Saturday’s Spring Training game, I’m willing to pay a equitable price to watch comfortably from my couch.

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Many fans have resorted to streaming Dodger games online, although many feeds are illegal. Even if the merger is approved, it is still not looking like the other pay-tv providers will agree to charge all of their subscribers, regardless if they want SportsNet LA or not, a $4 plus a month fee to watch games.

Opening Day 2015 is fast approaching, and a lot of fans have all but given up on being able to watch Dodger games on their TV. Until we hear about a ruling in the TWC-Comcast merger, we will continue to provide as much Dodger game coverage as years past including detailed game recaps. Not all Dodger fans have the opportunity to go to Dodger Stadium to see live games because of cost or distance, but this SportsNet LA debacle has certainly caused even more distance to come between the fans and the team they love.