SportsNet LA Still Only On Time Warner Cable As MLB Regular Season Approaches
The Dodgers officially start the '14 MLB season on Saturday with a two-game series against the D-Backs in Sydney, but "no other dish, cable or telecom system has picked up" Time Warner Cable SportsNet LA, according to Tom Hoffarth of the L.A. DAILY NEWS. That leaves "only TWC subscribers -- making up about one-third of all the homes in Southern California that use a monthly service -- as the ones who still get the channel since it launched Feb. 25." There is "no run-around with the MLB Network coverage of the two games either," as they are "blacked out in this market" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 3/21). In California, Jim Carlisle wrote if the past is any indication, it “figures cable, satellite and telephone companies will wait as long as they can before they pick up" the channel. Even though the regular season “technically starts this weekend, the Dodgers don’t play another game that counts until March 30” against the Padres. ESPN is televising that game nationally, and the Dodgers and Padres “are off the next day, so the first stateside regular-season game for SportsNet LA isn’t until April 1.” Since providers “don’t want to start paying until they have to, it’s likely to be around that date that deals start getting worked out to carry the network” (VENTURA COUNTY STAR, 3/19).
CONTROLLING THE MESSAGE: In L.A., Michael Hiltzik reported Dodgers PR Dir Joe Jareck on Wednesday "may have gotten a little bit too candid about the team's news-managing techniques." Speaking in Sydney, Jareck "said this about how the team prefers to get its news out: best to publish on its own website, Dodgers.com, because then 'we can spin it any way we want.'" Jareck: "You can tell the (in-house) writer, 'Here do this' and they’ll do it.'" Jareck also "took what sounded to be a couple of swipes at outside media." Jareck: "I’m of the belief we should give everything to Dodgers.com -- there are more eyeballs there. Gone are the days when The Los Angeles Times ruled the city." He added, "Very few (media) have that kind of influence anymore. So I’m of the view of giving it to our own website which is double or triple what the readership of the Los Angeles Times is in print and online" (LATIMES.com, 3/20).