Sportsnetla made a somewhat successful debut last night, but unfortunately not all Dodger fans were able to see it. As a matter of fact, most were unable to. Unless you are a Time Warner cable customer then you were not able to view the new Dodger channel.
In my mind, the debut last night was still a success despite the large amount of fans that couldn’t watch. The program launched with a special introduction from Vin Scully, and then segued into a short interview with him via satellite. Anything that starts with a special introduction from Vin is pretty awesome. Then the station switched to the studio and introduced the new team of analysts. The crew includes former Dodger players Nomar Garciaparra, Jerry Hairston Jr., and former Dodger Cy Young award pitcher and world champion Orel Hershiser. Rounding out the new crew is studio host John Hartung, and field reporter Alana Rizzo.
It wasn’t a perfect launch. There were some technical difficulties, and some confusion over the channel numbers. For instance, if you are in LA county, you’ll get Sportsnet on 249 in standard definition, and 431 in HD. If you are in Ventura county and or the surrounding areas, you’ll have to tune to channels 239, and 231 respectively. The Bakersfield customers can get it on Brighthouse as well. Sportsnetla will televise all 22 exhibition games, and over 150 regular season Dodger games.
The programming was top-notch, and done with a bit of class and sophistication. For once the analysts weren’t cracking jokes, or acting like children. They discussed nothing but the Dodgers. No facial hair talk, no talk about nonsense, no screaming, just Dodger talk. Although Jerry did call Hanley “the anchor” about a dozen times, and you should probably take a drink every time he does because that’s a fun game to play while watching, but otherwise the crew did a good job. There were interviews with Clayton Kershaw, manager Don Mattingly, Magic Johnson, and a very brief interview with our site namesake Tommy Lasorda.
The programming included special behind the scenes looks at spring training and camelback ranch, analysis of the upcoming season, and a look back at the 2013 season. Stacie described the action quite well in her article last night, and you can check it out here.
What I wanted to talk to everyone about today is taking action to ensure you get to see the games. No, I don’t mean filling out online petitions, calling your provider, or complaining on twitter. Many fans took to twitter to vent their frustrations about not having the new Dodger station last night. Believe me I sympathize with their situation, and feel sorry for all that can’t watch the Dodgers, but if you want to watch Dodger games, then you’re probably going to have to switch over to Time Warner cable for the time being.
Look, if it were up to me every Dodger fan would have access to Dodger games. I believe that all Dodger fans should have constant Dodger access no matter where they are or what television provider they have. Here’s the thing though, your cable provider doesn’t care. Sure they may say they do, and may say they’re working on negotiations, but let’s be honest, they could care less. They’re a faceless conglomerate making billions of dollars per year. Do you think they care if innocent Dodger fans can’t watch games? Nope they don’t.
The thing is, we’ve all known about this for the last year or so. People have had plenty of time to prepare. Every non Time Warner customer should have switched over by now, or found some other way to watch the games. Remember MLB.tv will not work if you are within the LA market. (blackout restrictions apply).
So it’s time to make a choice. Do you want to watch Dodger games this season or not? I am urging all Dodger fans to switch to Time Warner before the regular season starts. Otherwise suffer the consequences of missing the games.
I’ve had my frustrations with Time Warner over the years and have thought about switching to Dish, or DirecTV many times, but I stuck with them. Why did I stick with Time Warner? Well, for one, this is some good Dodger programming, and the second most important reason, I want to be able to watch Dodger games. There is no way in hell I’m missing games ever again. We knew this was coming for over a year.
Don’t just assume that Time Warner will reach an agreement with the other providers before opening day or at all this season. These are multi-million, multi-billion dollar deals that could take, weeks, or months, or even over a year to be finalized. I’ve heard that Dish network still has yet to reach agreement on the new Laker channel. Don’t take the risk.
This is what we’ve been wanting for a long time now. A Dodger station committed to nothing but Dodger coverage 24 hours per day. I now can turn on my TV and watch Complete Dodger coverage at any time of the day or night. At 2 AM while on my couch in my underwear, I can watch Orel and Jerry analyzing the game the day before, and previewing the next afternoon’s game. This is a wonderful thing. This is how it should be.
I guess you have to ask yourself, what’s more important? Saving a few bucks per month, or watching our beloved Dodgers. I will gladly pay a few extra dollars per month to watch Dodger games. It’s worth it in my opinion. I remember the horror of the KCAL blackout last summer, and I never want to be without Dodger access ever again. Nor do I want you to be without Dodger access either.
There’s really no reason not to switch now. I mean, you’ll still be able to watch the bachelorette, and you can still tivo modern family or whatever shows you watch. You’ll still get most of your favorite programs, if not all.
The longer you wait, the more games you will miss. The choice is yours.