originally posted two years ago on LinkedIn - it is unfortunately just as relevant today
Talk about a PR disaster: The Los Angeles Dodgers should be ashamed of themselves for making an astronomically huge $8.35 billion, 25-year deal with Time Warner Cable (now Spectrum) in February 2014, essentially shutting out the majority of TV viewers from watching their beloved franchise.
Barring a miracle, April will mark the third (now fifth) consecutive season where more than 80 percent of households in the L.A. area are shut out from watching the Dodgers perform on television. Make no mistake, Time Warner Cable is equally culpable for agreeing to this sour deal, thinking they’d recoup money by charging other carriers $4-5 per subscriber to carry the new SportsNet LA cable channel as part of a bundled Sports Tier package. Satellite provider DirecTV and other cable carriers balked, leaving forlorn fans out in the cold. And not very happy.
This has gone on now for 5 seasons with no settlement in sight. Read how one long-time Dodgers fan outlived his love for the team. (March 2, 2018, Los Angeles Times)
The Dodgers and owner Mark Walter are not legally bound to do anything with regards to televising the team’s games. But, the longer they mishandle a sensitive PR situation that is alienating thousands, the harder it becomes to pull that fan base back into the fold.
Sad to say, the Dodgers are no longer LA's team. They are popular enough, with a big enough fan base, to fill the seats at Chavez Ravine on a regular basis. But, they no longer feel like the team of the people.
The Dodgers are fielding a top-notch winner on the field. It is off the field where they come across as a AA minor league franchise.