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SBD/April 5, 2016/MLB Season Preview
Most Dodgers Fans Miss Opening Day With ESPN Broadcast Blacked Out In L.A.
Published April 5, 2016
CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE: In L.A., Bill Plaschke writes due to MLB's "maddening blackout rules, the ESPN national broadcast was blacked out in L.A. so it would not interfere with the Dodgers' local network," but because of the Dodgers' "own maddening blackout of SportsNet LA, more than half of L.A. viewers saw nothing." The fallout from "arguably the most disastrous business decision in the history of L.A. sports is entering its third season, but it has never been worse than Monday, when baseball's traditional day of hope filled Dodgers fans with the same old despair born of Dodgers ownership's ego and greed." Plaschke writes fans should not believe MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred "when he says he cares." Plaschke: "Certainly don't believe the Dodgers ownership when it says it cares, because it just watched another dramatic moment escape, another bit of greatness eclipsed, another connection broken, all to preserve their war chest" (L.A. TIMES, 4/5).
YES CAMPAIGN TO CONTINUE: YES Network President & CEO Tracy Dolgin said of the RSN's marketing campaign against Comcast in their ongoing carriage dispute is "not a little blip here." He said, "We intend to keep marketing this thing more and more and more until Comcast somehow changes. ... This campaign is not going to stop when the season begins." CABLEFAX DAILY notes it "seems we're a long way from a compromise." Even after Comcast was "no longer paying for YES, customer bills went up because a regional sports surcharge jumped from $1 to $3." Dolgin: "They drop the most-watched (RSN), the biggest and they triple the surcharge after they do it." Comcast Exec VP/Consumer Services Marcien Jenckes "acknowledged the rate increase, but said it doesn’t come close to covering Comcast’s costs and wasn’t related to YES." He said, "It covers on average 4 different regional sports networks in the NY DMA, and the $3 doesn’t even cover the cost of any of them" (CABLEFAX DAILY, 4/5).