Why is TWC Broadcasting Fewer ST Games?

My past readers know that I am very frustrated with SportsNet LA, Time Warner Cable (TWC), and the Dodgers failing to end their greed and apathy toward the fiasco that they ironically refer to as Dodgers TV coverage.

This column isn’t about them potentially denying the majority of the LA basin from enjoying Vin Scully’s final announcing season, although that is a mortal sin against all Dodger fans, and deserves many more words to be written about it than there have been already.

This one is about the short-sighted decision to cut back on Spring Training broadcasts from 31 to just 16. For the past two seasons the Dodgers have been steadily losing fans that cannot access them on television, and failing to gain new fans that should be discovering them.

We loyalists of Dodger Nation haven’t let that dull our enthusiasm for the team, but just when Spring Training has started and we’ve got our collective hopes up high, and our excitement levels for the upcoming season are all revved up – everything grinds to a halt.  Our team’s 24-hour a day, all Dodgers, all the time, channel has decided we don’t need to see what’s happening with the team right now, we’ll be just as happy watching a rerun of some random game against some random team, from some random past year.

I’ll be the first to admit Spring Training games don’t have the same glitz and glamour of regular season games. Heck, back in the old days, only the biggest baseball junkies cared about Spring Training developments. That said, back in the old days players used to jump over peach baskets for training.

Things are different now. Hey, TWC, wake up and smell the 21st century!!!

What was once a small circle of baseball junkies has grown into a massive blogger, YouTube, Twitter and everything else, social media universe. It turns out there are multitudes of folks out there who want to know all about Spring Training – and want to SEE the developments as they are happening.

TWC officials are telling us they slashed their broadcast schedule by 50% because less folks are watching mid-week broadcasts. I see, the strategy is to raise awareness of the team, build the brand of SportsNet LA, and increase viewership by showing a game from 2006.

Sure it costs money to turn on the lights and pay the technicians and announcers – but then again, didn’t they account for all that when they made the initial investments and bids for exclusive rights? Do they really lose that much when all the infrastructure is already in place for broadcasting the games?

When they broadcast a game on Monday but skip all the games until Friday they don’t pack everything up and ship it all home on Monday afternoon and then fly it all back in and rebuild everything on Thursday night. I’m pretty sure they booked all of their hotel rooms for the entirety of Spring Training. Is the entire SportsNet LA crew flying home after one broadcast and then flying back in for the next one?

I would think someone in marketing would mention they’ll get a lot closer to achieving the goals of team awareness, brand strengthening and audience growth by showing each day’s ST game live, and then repeating it later in the evening for all the folks who couldn’t watch it earlier.

Of course, I’m presuming those are really the goals of a team that’s being paid 8.25 billion dollars whether anybody can see the games or not, and of a cable TV behemoth that is probably writing off their losses as tax deductions as you read this.

Oscar Martinez

Oscar Martinez

I was born in the shadow of Dodger Stadium and immediately drenched in Dodger Blue. Chavez Ravine is my baseball cathedral, Vin Scully was the golden voice of summer all my life, and Tommy Lasorda remains the greatest Dodgers manager ever. My favorite things are coffee, beer, and the Dodgers beating the Giants. I also blog about my baseball card hobby at All Trade Bait, All the Time.

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20 thoughts on “Why is TWC Broadcasting Fewer ST Games?

    1. I guess there is a reason for commenting. That commercial jingle that you’ve all heard on SNLA came on immediately after the none comment above (1877Kars4Kids). I did a search of their site mainly to see where they turn those cars into money but what I found is where the money goes from those cars. At their site they openly admit the money is for Jewish kids AND their families. At the risk of sounding racist to some, what I see in this is complete fraud. It’s the sort of thing that breeds racism. Perhaps if I were aware that Jewish children AND their families are the most needy for charity I’d have a different view. I am not aware of such and surely doubt that’s the case. Those in support of anti racism should voice against such a crime as 1-877-Kars 4 kids and their families. That is my opinion.

  1. Living in Arizona I don’t follow this issue that closely but I pay about 50 cents a game for the year. I don’t have a problem doing that. Wouldn’t there be millions who would pay that if it were offered? It’s ALWAYS about the money. The money just has to be there. Why isn’t this problem being resolved?

    1. Badger I don’t understand why TWC doesn’t lower its original offer, to all the other providers, instead paying the Dodgers on there own. Look at my comment below, for more details.

  2. I have had Extra Innings with DirecTV for the past decade or so.

    But we move in mid-May to a new place and they only get Time Warner. So want can I expect?
    Oh, we live in San Antonio . . .

  3. It doesn’t make sense, since that they are not broadcasting the spring games, because they are broadcasting a hour show every nite, Monday through Friday, on spring training.
    I was just able to get the Dodger channel, once Charter took over TWC, and I was hoping to see all of the spring training games this year. I don’t understand why TWC or Charter, don’t try to make a deal with everyone else, and ask a little less money, from there original offer, that they gave all of the other providers. Wouldn’t that make sense, instead of continuing to pay the Dodgers, all on there own?
    I’m not saying that this is on just TWC, or Charter. All of these providers have there own sports programs, that they only provide, and the other providers have to pay to get these particular sports, offered only by that only one provider. And there will be a day, when these other providers will have to renew there contract, with the other providers, and they will have to ask for more money, to resign the other providers.
    This is not on TWC alone, it is also DirectTV, Comcast, AT&T, Dish, and all the others. I think the Laker’s channel, is what got these providers acting like they have. If you remember, they didn’t all agree on the Laker’s channel, right away. They all eventually signed up for the Laker’s channel. Now I’m sure that the Laker’s channel, is not being watched, like it was once watched, because the Laker’s haven’t been sucessful, as before. And now all of these providers don’t want this to happen to the Dodgers, and take a loss. Because a teams popularity is usually based by there performance.

  4. Maybe Time Warner is trying to cut their employee hours so they don’t have to pay benefits. Most fans would pay extra for the Dodger channel, but that’s not the way these monkeys work. Everyone has to pay more whether they want to watch baseball or not. By the same token I have to pay for soccer games in Spanish, cage fighting and cooking shows that I will never watch. Stupid business model.

  5. Roger, what you can expect is them offering you a deal for their service at a price in you acceptance from some agent in some other state and then when the service is nearing the office installing informs you that they are not aware of such an offer and try billing you about 30% more than the subscription seller or agent quoted. You may came to an agreement about the split as so happened with me. When the bill arrives it’s yet again higher. There’s charges for the internet modem as well as the cable receiver both at $10 rental each and a sports fee of $4 something. I haven’t had the service for a complete year until next month – I know this as the I had trouble the 1st day of service (opening day for Dodgers) which was remedied less than 10 mins before game time. They’ve raised the fees the last couple months saying the deal i started with them had expired. It hasn’t yet been the 1 year. My brother has a lesser TV but has a better picture with directv. There’s been down times more than I can count and one of those times service was down before, during and till the next morning from game two @ Dodgers in the playoffs. But maybe I’m special. Even if I’m not I have more than enough reason to DETEST TWC.

    1. Quas I agree with you. DirectTV does have the best picture. And I would get DirectTV if they would get the Dodger channel. The one good thing that Charter has, that the other providers don’t have, is that Charter have no contracts. They also have all of those movie channels, like HBO, Showtime, and etc, and you get all of these movie channels, with the package that most people get for about eighty five dollars, a month. And you can watch these channels on demand. DirectTV and the other providers charge these movie channels, for a additional fee, so Charter is cheaper in that way. Charter took over TWC, so I don’t know how TWC is. I wasn’t able to get TWC in my area, so for a while, I couldn’t get the Dodger channel, even though I live in southern Calif. Now everybody can get the Dodger channel, either with Charter, or TWC, if you live in Southern Calif. I don’t think this take over, is complete yet. I think some people don’t want TWC, so they won’t get the Dodger channel. If you like the Dodgers enough, then you will get either Charter, or TWC , it is better then nothing.

      1. Up here in Santa Babylon we’re stuck with the Cox monopoly, and they could care less whether we want to watch the Dodgers or not. They don’t even broadcast the games on radio here because they figured it was cheaper to air semipro games. We’re blacked out by MLB.com. I guess if I get the MLB radio app I can at least LISTEN to Vin, which will have to be good enough unless I can figure out this streaming thing.

        Shame on Guggenheim for putting us at the mercy of these jackals.

  6. TWC is the worst company in the world. I encourage everyone to pirate Dodger games as much as they can, it’s actually easier than you think. It’s to the point where even if you pay for MLB.tv, Dodger games are still blacked out even though your TV provider doesn’t have them either. The web chats are great, you can find ones that support mobile, and with adblockers you won’t have too many problems once you figure it out. I hope TWC goes bankrupt and every person that works for them gets replaced by a H1B visa foreign worker and then starves to death because they are scum for working with such an awful money-grubbing organization. TWC would rather devalue the Dodgers organization to the point that they can just buy it out than actually give the fans what they want.

    Go to reddit dotcom / r / mlbstreams and you will find tons of people that post streams to the games. Or just search Google for MLB streams. It’s not like the Dodgers or TWC care if you are watching the games or not, and even if they figure out the TV rights, it’s still easier, better, and cheaper to stream games online.

    1. Great tip Mex, though I would rather see those with jobs at TWC get retrained and find gainful employment in the green energy field. I’ve already paid for MLBTV so my money gone, but for everybody else I know over there (in-laws) I’m going to pass this info on.

  7. I would be extremely upset if I was paying for that channel and NOT being broadcast live Dodger games.
    .
    But why also no broadcast on radio?

  8. they just want to charge you more money down the road.. my brother had twc ..and down graded one level and now cant get the dodger…don’t any one buy twc

    1. Still can’t get the channel with his current package? I had read about it, brought it up here in this forum (actually it’s predecessor) and was told you could get the dodger channel with the basic package. Looks like that was incorrect. Thanks for the info. But that stinks for your brother!

  9. I need to get some tech savvy somebody to guide me through hiding my whereabouts or IP (if that’s what it’s called) even though my IP is already established on my TV and pc. I really want to be done with TWC TV. I still would use their internet as there’s not other options other than sat internet services around here. That’s way too expensive.

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