Dodger fans may miss out on the start of the season if their cable provider does not come to terms with Time Warner in order to carry SportsNet LA.
Do you #NeedYourDodgers? Because if you do not have Time Warner Cable you will probably miss the launch of the Dodgers upcoming TV network, SportsNet LA.
Between the Dodgers, Time Warner, and SportsNet LA there has been a plethora of online marketing calling on fans to contact their cable company and demand the channel be carried. The #ineedmydodgers hashtag has been in heavy circulation on Twitter, and often leads to a link to the ineedmydodgers.com website.
So what is ineedmydodgers.com? Basically, a petition that gets forwarded to your cable provider to show the high demand for SportsNet LA. At this point the channel will broadcast exclusively on Time Warner Cable, leaving a majority of Dodger households without coverage.
Time Warner will, reportedly, pay $8 billion over the next 25 years for the rights to broadcast the Dodgers, and that money has to come from somewhere. In order for other cable providers to carry the network they will have to fork over a hefty fee to offer the channel to its consumers.
Naturally, the fee will then get handed down to viewers, making your monthly cable bill that much higher.
Live sports are the hottest commidity in the TV industry right now because the broadcasts are practically DVR-proof. While an episode of your favorite show can wait for the weekend, a baseball game needs to be watched as it happens, making the ad revenue that much more valuable.
Laker fans will be familiar with the process, and frustrations, that come along with having a premium channel dedicated to their favorite sports team. The Lakers also have a channel on Time Warner, and many fans were left in the dark at the start of last season.
Cable companies like AT&T U-verse and Verizon Fios took well into the NBA year before coming to terms with Time Warner on the fees for carrying the Lakers network.
Fans were forced to go out to sports bars, find a friend's house with the channel, switch cable providers, or just miss games. Hopefully Dodger fans will not have to go to such lengths to watch their favorite team since the launch of SportsNet LA is a full month before the start of the regular season.
So brace yourself, Dodger fans. Without Time Warner you will likely miss a good portion of Spring Training, and if your cable company is especially stubborn, the start of the season.