For the first time since the launch of SportsNet LA in 2014, there appears to be significant movement toward potentially getting the Dodgers' own network into a majority of Los Angeles television households. Time Warner has cut its price by 30 percent in hopes of luring DirecTV and the other major carrier holdouts, per Meg James of the Los Angeles Times.
The lure of getting Vin Scully's final season behind the microphone to as wide an audience as possible, as well as mounting losses by Time Warner, reported by the LA Times at over $100 million per year since agreeing to the $8.3 billion, 25-year television contract with the Dodgers two years ago, was enough to get Time Warner to finally drop their asking price.
Finally, some action after two wasted years of posturing and hiding behind pending telecommunications mergers as roadblocks to a deal.
As part of the new proposal, Time Warner Cable has offered the channel to other providers at a cost of about $3.50 per month per subscriber home, according to two people familiar with the proposal who were not authorized to discuss deal terms.
The proposal fashioned by Time Warner Cable would be a one-year deal covering the upcoming season.
So far, none of the other pay-TV providers have agreed to play ball, although talks with at least two providers are in the early stages and are expected to accelerate in the next week as the new season approaches, said two knowledgeable people who asked not to be identified.
The Dodgers own SportsNet LA, and Time Warner as a partner in the deal is responsible for distributing the network, currently available on Time Warner, Charter and Bright House Networks.
The major holdouts to date have been DirecTV, AT&T U-Verse, Verizon and Cox Communications.
Opening day is Monday, April 4 against the Padres in San Diego, a game that will also be broadcast nationally by ESPN, with no blackouts in the Los Angeles area. The first regular season Dodgers game exclusively on SportsNet LA locally is April 5.