LOS ANGELES – Dodger fans across Southern California may have gotten one step closer to hearing legendary broadcaster Vin Scully for the upcoming 2016 Dodgers Season.
Television giant, Time Warner Cable announced on Tuesday that they had cut the price of their sports channel owned by the Dodgers by more than 30 percent: down from $4.90 per month to a reasonable $3.40 per month.
The price decrease is the first step in a nearly two-year long stand off between TWC and cable and satellite providers such as DirectTV. It is the first time since the standoff that TWC has dropped the price of their channel.
The announcement comes on the eve of the 2016 season, which is set to commence on April 4 in San Diego. It also marks the final season of legendary broadcaster Vin Scully who has told the team that this will be his final season in the booth.
Fans have taken to social media to help entice DirectTV and other providers to take the deal, but admittedly, they have no idea if the SportsNetLA channel is worth the $3.40 per month that TWC is now offering. According to Dodgers President and CEO Stan Kasten, it is.
"We think it's a wonderful gesture from Time Warner Cable, particularly out of respect for Vin Scully," Kasten said in a statement on Wednesday. "It's a big win for the fans and, frankly, a big win for the cable and satellite providers. There could be no better way to honor Vin in his final year than for them to quickly accept this offer and get the games on TV."
Kasten and the Southern California fans are now putting tremendous public pressure on DirectTV and other providers to take the deal, but thus far, there has been no word from any of the providers. Adding to the mounting pressure, is MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, who has also taken a stance on the price cut.
"The distribution dispute involving DirectTV, AT&T, COX and Verizon has gone on too long," he said in a statement. "The Dodgers massive fan base deserves to be able to watch Dodger games regardless of their choice of provider. The situation is particularly acute given that this is Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully's final season. Time Warner has made a significant economic move that I hope will be accepted by providers."
Hopefully, the providers will all sign on the dotted line and offer SportsNetLA before Opening Day. If so, Southern California fans may have Scully to thank not only for being the voice of the franchise for 67 seasons, but also for bringing their beloved team back to televisions across the southland.