UPDATE with Eric Garcetti statement: Charter Communications said it has pacted with KTLA Los Angeles to air six of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ final regular-season games — including Vin Scully Appreciation Day on September 23, celebrating the Hall of Fame broadcaster who is wrapping his 67th and final season with the team. The simulcasts with Charter’s SportsNet LA will also include the Dodgers’ season-ending series with the San Francisco Giants as the two teams battle for the NL West title and the postseason.
Charter acquired Time Warner Cable this year for $78 billion along with its properties including SportsNet LA, the regional sports network which has had rights to Dodgers games exclusively since 2014. The channel has only been available on TWC and a few small distributors as other major carriers like Dish and DirecTV and Dish have balked at paying high carriage fees. That has left many in Los Angeles without Dodgers baseball on TV.
“All L.A. baseball fans deserve the chance to watch our Dodgers play, not just those with certain TV subscriptions,” L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said today. “It’s encouraging to see business interests put their differences aside, so that millions of Angelenos can have the once-in-a-lifetime experience of hearing Vin Scully call the final games of his legendary career. And if we can do the right thing for Vin, I know we can do it for the rest of us — by continuing to work toward making all of the broadcasts accessible to everyone who bleeds Dodger Blue.”
The package includes the September 23-24 home games against the Colorado Rockies, with the 23rd including coverage of a pregame ceremony honoring Scully. Then comes the season-finale series in San Francisco on September 30-October 2. The Dodgers currently have a two-game lead over the Giants in the NL West standings.
“At Charter, we’re focused on delivering the best sports entertainment possible through networks such as SportsNet LA,” said Michael Bair, EVP of Spectrum Network, the new name of Charter-TWC tie-up. “This award-winning network is only available today through Charter, and providing this preview during Vin Scully’s last few games is a great way to allow all Dodger fans to enjoy the legendary announcer as he closes out his iconic career. We’re also looking forward to showcasing the network as a way to remind all Dodger fans who don’t subscribe to Charter what they’re missing.”
Said Don Corsini, KTLA5’s president and GM: “We thank Charter and the entire Los Angeles Dodgers organization for the unique opportunity to honor the Dean of Sports Broadcasters, and share these iconic Dodgers games and moments with our entire KTLA5 Southern California community.”