SportsNet LA
DIRECTV Statement:
Last updated 8/7/14
We share the concern of Representatives Cardenas, Sherman and other local elected officials, as well as FCC Chairman Wheeler, that consumers are not able to watch the LA Dodgers on television. Throughout our discussions with Time Warner Cable, we have always kept the best interests of our more than 1 million LA customers at the forefront, including those who don’t watch the Dodgers. It also seems that every other distributor in the market also recognizes that customers should not be forced to pay a tax nearing a half of a billion dollars for TWC’s reckless decision to create three separate, overpriced RSNs. We will continue to have discussions in good faith and will consider mediation, rather than arbitration, to reach a deal that benefits all of our customers. But any such talks must include all TV providers in the area as well as compromise by the ownership of the Dodgers to be meaningful.


Time Warner Cable claims DIRECTV has no intention of providing the Dodgers this season and has, in fact, walked away from any further negotiations. Is that true?

Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, DIRECTV wants to resolve this situation on behalf of all the most loyal Dodger fans who should never have had Time Warner Cable come between them and their favorite team in the first place.

Their recent statements are a desperate attempt to try to lure away DIRECTV customers who are Dodger fans to try and force everyone living throughout Los Angeles to pay for their own $8.35 billion excesses. The Dodgers’ money is guaranteed, meaning Time Warner Cable is now on the hook for making good on that outlay.

We continue to receive an incredible amount of support from customers who understand what we are trying to do and are sticking with DIRECTV to make their voice heard. It’s regrettable but also pretty easy to see why Time Warner Cable will try anything – and more importantly, say anything – to ensure everyone pays for their mistakes before they do.

What other cable or satellite providers are offering SportsNet LA?

None. With the one exception of Time Warner Cable, of course, and BrightHouse Networks, which relies upon Time Warner Cable to purchase the channels it offers to customers. Time Warner Cable and the Dodgers are currently not available to nearly 70 percent of the people living in the immediate region including many of the most loyal fans who still hope to see them.

If I already have Time Warner Cable SportsNet on my DIRECTV service, will I get all of this season’s Dodger games too?

No, Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable SportsNet LA are two entirely different channels. Time Warner Cable bought the telecast rights to a Los Angeles pro baseball and basketball team and, even though such teams share a channel in virtually every other market, TWC wants a full-time network for each.

Does DIRECTV plan to offer SportsNet LA?

We prefer to keep providing Dodger games, but at a price that is reasonable to the many different families living not only within metro Los Angeles, but also those in Central California, Nevada and even Hawaii. If this expensive trend of new one-team RSN’s continues, customers should have the freedom to choose whether or not they want to pay for these high-priced games.

What would be the simplest solution to allow the fans that want to see their Dodgers games to get them?

Time Warner Cable should embrace the same solution it proposed last summer during its CBS blackout – let everyone decide for themselves whether they want to pay for the channel or not. We agree and believe it is the most reasonable solution for all customers: diehard Dodger fans who should be rewarded for loyalty, casual fans, people who don’t watch sports at all and anyone in between.

What do you say to diehard Dodger fans willing to pay whatever it takes to receive this channel?

You should have the simple freedom to choose whether to subscribe to this premium channel. We have asked Time Warner Cable to give you that option, but so far, neither the Dodgers nor Time Warner Cable are willing to consider it. Fans have a right to know why and they should be able to demand it of Time Warner Cable.

If DIRECTV does not have an agreement with SportsNet LA soon, is there another way I can still see games? Can I see them online?

Fox Sports and ESPN plan to cover the Dodgers throughout the season, with at least a few games during the first couple weeks and others to follow. DIRECTV customers will still be able to see those games no matter what. The games will not be available locally through MLB’s online product, MLB.TV.

Can I get Dodgers games locally by purchasing MLB EXTRA INNINGS?

No. If you live in Los Angeles, Central California, Nevada or Hawaii, you are in what’s known as the “team territory” and cannot get Dodgers games by supplementing your DIRECTV subscription with the MLB Extra Innings add-on. The MLB Extra Innings package is an out-of-market sports subscription service, and only offers games outside the Dodgers’ local team territory. If you live anywhere outside team territory (anywhere other than the places listed above) you may see the Dodgers games by purchasing the MLB Extra Innings package for an additional fee.

Since I used to be able to watch many Dodger games free over the air on my local channels, can I still see some of those games?

Unfortunately no. For decades, the Dodgers cared about all their fans and were one of only a few MLB teams to keep about a third of their games on broadcast television so the entire local community could see them. Now, nearly all of the Dodger games are exclusive to SportsNet LA.

Who is to blame for taking my away my access to free over the air games?

Unfortunately more teams and conferences are looking to cash in on the enormous sums being paid for television rights by starting their own networks. It’s a growing and disturbing trend in both professional and college sports that is bargaining away fans’ access to games.

The Dodgers, who own 100 percent of SportsNet LA, struck a reported $8.35 billion, 25-year deal with Time Warner Cable to distribute and operate the network, and they want DIRECTV and all of the other distributors’ all cable and satellite customers to now pay for it, whether they watch Dodgers games or not.

Time Warner Cable is reportedly paying at least $210 million to offer the Dodgers this season– a figure that will grow considerably over the life of the contract. KCAL and Prime Ticket paid the Dodgers only about $50 million combined for the same games last year.

Why does DIRECTV want to offer Time Warner Cable SportsNet LA a la carte when none of the other MLB teams appear on networks offered in the same fashion?

Time Warner Cable has changed the game for these sorts of networks by paying an all-time-high $8.35 billion to remove Dodgers games from free, over-the-air and basic television and then demanding every customer now pay a record premium to get them back. Offering Regional Sports networks (RSNs) as a basic option really only works when the price is reasonable for everyone. Since TWC has priced this one-team RSN even higher than ones with extra teams and games all year round, everyone has to adjust accordingly and only customers who want such a premium channel should be the ones to pay for it.

Time Warner Cable says they¹re offering a fair price similar to what other regional sports networks charge, including the one DIRECTV operates in Seattle. Is that true?

Not true at all. SportsNet LA is by far the single most expensive single team regional sports network in the country. When DIRECTV completed its new deal with the Mariners a year ago there were no dramatic double or triple price increases and no disputes or PR battles with distributors who have since renewed their agreements. And to take it a step further, the Mariners have higher television ratings than the Dodgers. And the network that carries the Mariners has much more live game programming than SportsNet LA including Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders, Mountain West football and basketball, WCC/Gonzaga basketball, Big Sky football, ACC basketball, Big 12 football and basketball.

Time Warner Cable said that DIRECTV is already paying more to televise other individual MLB teams in cities smaller than Los Angeles, so why won’t it offer SportsNet LA?

We aren’t. The Dodgers are the single most expensive team. Time Warner Cable SportsNet LA is also the only regional sports network that has actual games for only half the year rather than others who compete year-round.

Is DIRECTV concerned that a one-team RSN will lose value if the franchise hits a rough patch?

Yes. Take the LA Lakers and the Time Warner Cable SportsNet channel as an example. TWC forced all DIRECTV customers to pay for this one team RSN. The Lakers are having a tough season and ratings are down 50 percent, yet all customers are stuck paying record fees for that channel.

Why is DIRECTV balking at paying for SportsNet LA when it is less expensive than ESPN, which DIRECTV offers to everyone?

The two networks are not even in the same ballpark no matter how you compare. SportsNet LA is a one-team, one-sport network that has actual games only six months out of the year. ESPN has the most diverse and popular year-round sports programming and includes the NFL’s Monday Night Football; MLB; NBA (The Finals on ABC); Grand Slam golf and tennis; NASCAR, IndyCar and NHRA, as well as college football including nearly the entire bowl game schedule and national championship; men’s and women’s college basketball, and more.
More FAQs

News & Views

Welcome to LA — Check Your Loyalties at the Turnstile

LA is already one of the most expensive places to watch sports, but now its top pro, college and even high school teams have splintered their games across as many as eight expensive regional sports channels. Nobody has any choice over any teams they want to support because each network wants all 7 million families in the region to pay for everything to allow anyone to see their favorite team play.

  • They Don’t Teach Sharing at UCLA and USCThe NCAA board meets in August to decide whether to allow Pac-12, SEC, Big Ten, Big 12 and ACC to govern themselves inside of the NCAA or else Pac-12 and other conference leaders say they will take their 65 schools—including the 53 like UCLA financed by the public—out of Division I where they’ve been the past four decades, leaving another 60-plus universities and colleges to fend for themselves. Pac-12, SEC and Big Ten already have their own networks—paying each institution $20 million+ each season—while Big 12 and ACC are in planning stages.

  • College Conferences Cash InPac-12, Big Ten and SEC reaped a combined $966.9 billion in the past year, with revenues expected to soar again this year when the SEC launches its own channel and Big Ten renews its second round of distribution agreements. UCLA and USC’s Pac-12 home led all conferences with $334 million in league revenues to Big Ten’s $318.4 million and SEC’s $314.5 million for fiscal 2013, but the SEC Network’s launch this August is expected to add another $15-$20 million for each SEC institution (roughly $280 million more) to vault that powerhouse conference back into the lead.

  • Dodgers Tune Out The last time 70 percent of LA saw much of the Dodgers was the final out of the 2013 NLCS. The Dodger front office has all but disappeared and the Mayor is justifiably fuming while Time Warner Cable refuses to give loyal fans any chance to see local games unless everyone as far away as Hawaii pays twice as much for the Dodgers. Even diehards are so outraged that nearly everyone stands pat with DIRECTV, AT&T, DISH, Cox and other local providers rather than trust Time Warner Cable which wants to pay its $8.35 billion in Dodger dues out of their bank accounts.

  • NBA Ban to Sterling BoonThe NBA had wanted to strip embattled former owner Donald Sterling of the LA Clippers, but Sterling cashed in with a record $2 billion from former Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer thanks to an anticipated bidding war for upcoming local TV rights. The Clips get $25-$30 million each season right now, but Ballmer and the new bosses will want more like the record $200-$330 million Time Warner Cable’s paying to televise the Lakers and Dodgers each year.

  • Bruin Final Four Means More TV TicketsCBS and Turner pay $10.8 billion to share “March Madness” as the Final Four migrated to cable this spring. For the first time, Turner created new “Teamcasts,” taking three versions of the same game – one biased to one team, the other biased to the other, and then the tried and true neutral version – and spread them across three separate channels. That means in the future, Final Four fans won’t be able to see any one version of their team’s game without also paying for all three.

  • Lakers Go SouthTime Warner Cable spent an NBA record of about $5 billion to create a new regional network for the Lakers entering the 2012-13 season. But rather than pair up the Lakers with the soon-to-be-had Dodgers, giving local fans a network with popular game action all year round, TWC creates two channels that each cost locals more than double the price – and feature games for only half the year. Adding insult to injury, the Lakers fade to their worst finish since moving from Minneapolis in 1958.

  • UCLA-USC Fight, Fight Fight OnThe Pac-12 Conference creates several new networks including a local channel for USC and UCLA and a national service everyone has to take first. But rather than use all the most competitive USC or UCLA games on that channel, the conference instead sells all of its top-tier football and basketball games to ESPN-ABC and Fox for more than four times the price at $275 million every season versus $60 million before. Many Bruins and Trojan fans have been forced to miss games since the 2012 football season began.

  • Kings RansomMatched in a bidding war with Time Warner Cable, Fox Sports pays $250 million or nearly double for Kings NHL games, meaning local families will have to offset $21 million every year rather than $12 million through the 2024 season.

  • High Schools Cash InBig money’s not just a pro or college thing anymore, as Time Warner Cable pays California’s state Interscholastic Federation (CIF) $8.5 million to drop Fox which paid only $100,000 for state championships and a few regular season football and basketball games.

  • San Diegans Lose Padres for 2013 SeasonThe SoCal battle between Fox Sports and Time Warner Cable shifts to San Diego, where Fox pays the Padres $1.2 billion to leave Cox Cable and Time Warner Cable refuses to sign up for the FS San Diego leaving Friar fans in the lurch. The Padres eventually return for the 2014 season, but only after Fox also forces TWC to pay handsomely to retain the Yankees in Manhattan.

  • Galaxy Goes DoubleDavid Beckham’s long gone, but the MLS Galaxy capitalize on the bidding war between Time Warner Cable and Fox, jumping to the new Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes in a $55 million agreement that will guarantee the team $550,000 per season compared to only $300,000 Fox paid before. LA families pay the difference.

  • Angels Triple PricesWith Time Warner Cable trying to take them away, Fox locks the LA Angels of Anaheim into a new long-term agreement for $3 billion, tripling the team’s payments to $150 million every season compared to $50 million before and giving the Halos 25 percent ownership of the FS West network.

  • Houston, We Have a ProblemLA sports teams and networks keep playing keep away with key teams, ignoring what’s happened to the Astros and Rockets in Houston. The two popular teams bolted Fox Sports to create a new $3.2 billion channel with the local cable provider, but the three new partners price the network so high local fans stand pat with DIRECTV, AT&T, DISH and other providers rather than care enough to follow the MLB and NBA team. CSN Houston goes bankrupt and the partners litigate, but most fans still haven’t seen the Astros or Rockets since the 2011 season.

In the News

Contract disputes, retrans fee hikes, rising sports costs and a host of other issues that drive up your cost to watch TV are constantly in the headlines. Here’s a look at some of the most recent and relevant:

  • Time Warner Cable feeling ill effects of Dodgers channel dispute 8/1/14  |  Los Angeles Times
    The SportsNetLA debacle is starting to affect Time Warner Cable’s bottom line. Time Warner Cable lowered its revenue projections for 2014 because of its inability to distribute SportsNet LA. Read more

  • DirecTV Refuses to ‘Bail Out’ Time Warner Cable in Dodgers Standoff 7/30/14  |  Variety
    Despite a threat from the FCC to begin arbitration, DIRECTV refuses to back down in its standoff with Time Warner Cable over rights to the Dodgers’ SportsNet LA channel. Read more

  • FCC Chairman ‘Troubled’ by Time Warner Cable’s L.A. Antics 7/30/14  |  Wall St. Journal
    “We hope that Chairman Wheeler is making similar inquiries of DIRECTV and other LA television distributors to determine their rationale for refusing to carry SportsNet LA,” she said, “which we have offered at terms similar to other regional sports networks, including those owned by DIRECTV.” Read more

  • Dodgers can’t be seen, but criticism of TV deal heard loud and clear 7/30/14  |  Los Angeles Times
    It’s certainly a worthy attempt at creating positive spin for the Dodgers while painting DIRECTV as the villain, and in some instances this sort of solution actually makes sense. Read more

  • Pressure grows to resolve Dodgers TV feud 7/29/14  |  Los Angeles Times
    DIRECTV, which has almost 1.3 million subscribers locally, brushed back the arbitration idea, saying non-fans should not have to pay for Time Warner Cable’s “excess.” Read more

  • FCC chairman tells Time Warner to end Dodgers TV dispute 7/29/14  |  Los Angeles Times
    The FCC told Time Warner Inc on Tuesday to end its dispute with DIRECTV and other cable operators that has left most fans of the Los Angeles baseball team unable to watch games on local television. Read more

  • Read more news

How to Listen

You can still hear all of the Dodgers radio broadcasts with the incomparable Vin Scully on both national carriers and also locally. For the first time this season, Dodger fans can hear every game on Sirius and XM Radio including a free, two-week preview anytime through Aug. 26th that also enables Dodger fans to listen on your phone, tablet or computer. And here are all the local stations with Dodger telecasts, including the flagship stations KLAC 570 AM (English) and KTNQ 1020 AM (Spanish) with Vin Scully and Jaime Jarrin on play-by-play.

  • Sirius XM
  • KLAC 570 AM Los Angeles, CA (Flagship Station)
  • KQTM 101.7 FM Albuquerque, NM
  • KSHP 1400 AM Las Vegas, NV
  • KNZR 1560 AM Bakersfield, CA
  • KBOV 1230 AM Bishop, CA
  • KROP 1300 AM Brawley/El Centro, CA
  • KCBL 1340 AM Fresno, CA
  • KYVA 1230 AM Gallup, NM
  • KAVL 610 AM Lancaster/Palmdale, CA
  • KPSI 920 AM Palm Springs, CA
  • KWDJ 1360 AM Ridgecrest, CA
  • KPRO 1570 AM Riverside, CA
  • KYNS 1340 AM San Luis Obispo/Santa Maria, CA
  • KHTS 1220 AM Santa Clarita, CA
  • KVEN 1450 AM Ventura/Oxnard, CA
  • KEZL 1400 AM Visalia, CA
    Dodger Games Available in Spanish

  • KTNQ 1020 AM Los Angeles, CA (Flagship Station)
  • KOXR 910 AM Oxnard/Ventura CA
  • KSBQ 1480 AM Santa Maria, CA
  • ESPN DEPORTES 1600 AM Fresno, CA
  • ESPN DEPORTES 1450 AM Albuquerque, NM

What Others Are Saying

  • DO NOT give in to the greedy dodgers and time warner .. Im a baseball fan but Im entirely upset at the dodgers and now I could care less if they are on TV if it means I have to pay higher rates to watch them .. tell them to go shove it .. I doubt everyone will leave DTV if you do not show the games ..

  • More a statement then a question but I have been following the sportsnet LA debacle. I am a huge dodger fan but for now have found other methods to watch my games. I would rather you guys work a more favorable deal for your (me) customers then fall under the pressure and in turn raising our bills for games we got last year. I am willing to wait for Directv to make the right deal for us. I say this because i did send an “I need my dodgers” email months prior. I personally was not happy with the news of TWC being in charge of the channel. I’m placing my support behind Directv to do the right thing for us customers.

  • I am a 20 year plus subscriber to DirectTV and am very satisfied with the service I am getting. I am a major Baseball fan. However, I will not pay a penny more to receive the Dodgers games. Stand up to them and the only fair way to solve this is for them to agree to your ala carte approach. You will not lose me as a customer, (nor many of my friends) if you do not bow to the pressure your are receiving from TWC and the Dodgers organization. Outrageous treatment to the long time fans by both organizations! Good luck to you.

  • I am a Dodger fan, and have been since they moved to LA in 1958 (when I was 7 years old). I know you always hear people say they are, “the biggest Dodgers fan!” But really, there is no “biggest.” There are just those of us who wait anxiously for Opening Day, and are depressed when the season ends. Suffice it to say, my wife and I look forward to watching all the Dodgers games during the season.

    That’s why I implore you to NOT give in to Time Warner’s “take-it-or-leave-it” blackmail. I would rather be forced to listen to all the games on the radio than to see Time Warner rewarded for paying the ridiculous amount they paid to carry Dodger broadcasts. No one forced them to sign that silly agreement, so no one will shed a tear if they have to declare bankruptcy because of their greed.

    I know I’m not the only Dodgers fan who feels this way. My wife and I have a number of family and friends who don’t care about baseball. They shouldn’t have to see their TV bill increase due to the shortsightedness of Time Warner Cable. If it comes down to an “a la carte” choice, we’ll be happy to sign on.

    Thank you for sticking by your guns!

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