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SportsNet LA cuts back on Dodgers spring training broadcasts

SportsNet LA will only televise a Dodgers game on 13 of 27 possible game days in Arizona in March.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

PHOENIX -- If a tree falls in the desert with nobody watching, does it make a sound?

That's where the Dodgers find themselves this spring training with a greatly reduced Cactus League television schedule on SportsNet LA, with only 13 of 30 games from Arizona broadcast on the club's own TV network.

Mired in carriage disputes pretty much ever since its launch in 2014, SportsNet LA is still not available to subscribers of DirecTV, AT&T U-Verse and Verizon Fios, three of the largest TV providers in Los Angeles.

With a substantial portion of the fanbase unable to watch on television anyway, plus the relatively low ratings of spring training weekday games, the spring schedule seems like an obvious cut for Time Warner, who agreed to pay the Dodgers a reported $8.35 billion over 25 years as part of the largest TV deal in professional sports.

SportsNet LA covered nearly every spring game in their first two years televising Dodgers games, missing out only on the occasional split squad games. But this year, only 13 will be televised by the network, including one game every Saturday and Sunday during the Cactus League schedule.

Vin Scully will call one spring game in Arizona — Friday night, March 25 against the Giants at Camelback Ranch — plus all three Freeway Series games against the Angels once the Dodgers return home on March 31.

Joe Davis will make his Dodgers broadcast debut, calling the game on March 19 against the White Sox. Charley Steiner will also call Dodgers spring games on play-by-play, with Rick Monday, Orel Hershiser and Nomar Garciaparra also a part of the spring television schedule.

SportsNet LA will broadcast a one-hour daily recap from spring training every weeknight during spring with Access SportsNet: Dodgers, beginning on Friday night at 7 p.m. PT. John Hartung and Alanna Rizzo will host the programs, with analysts including Hershiser, Garciaparra, Jerry Hairston Jr. and Ned Colletti.

Dodgers spring television schedule

(I added in the Angels' broadcasts for the relevant games in Arizona, which can be seen in the greater Los Angeles area)

Thursday, March 3 vs. White Sox, 12:05 p.m. PT
Saturday, March 5 vs. Diamondbacks, 12:05 p.m.
Sunday, March 6 at Giants, 12:05 p.m.
Wednesday, March 9 at Angels, 12:05 p.m. (Angels broadcast, Fox Sports West)
Friday, March 11 vs. Angels, 12:05 p.m. (Angels broadcast, Fox Sports West)
Saturday, March 12 vs. Cubs, 6:05 p.m.
Sunday, March 13 at Rockies, 1:10 p.m.
Saturday, March 19 "at" White Sox, 1:05 p.m.
Sunday, March 20 vs. Padres, 1:05 p.m.
Tuesday, March 22 at Royals, 6:05 p.m.
Thursday, March 24 at Indians, 7:05 p.m.
Friday, March 25 vs. Giants, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, March 26 vs. White Sox, 7:05 p.m.
Sunday, March 27 vs. Reds, 1:05 p.m.
Monday, March 28 vs. Rangers, 7:05 p.m.

Freeway Series
Thursday, March 31 vs. Angels, 7:10 p.m. (also Angels broadcast, on Prime Ticket)
Friday, April 1 vs. Angels, 7:10 p.m. (also Angels broadcast, on Fox Sports West)
Saturday, April 2 at Angels, 6:05 p.m. (also Angels broadcast, on Fox Sports West)