“Put me in, Coach — I’m ready to play.” Los Angeles Dodgers fans who have been grumbling for years about not being able to watch games that are exclusive to Spectrum’s (formerly Time Warner Cable) SportsNet LA cable channel can claim a little victory today: Spectrum Networks will simulcast 10 regular-season games in 2017 on the CW-affiliated KTLA-TV.
The freebies start with Game 3 of the 2017 season against the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium. Eight of the planned simulcasts are in April — including three against the Colorado Rockies and one with the World Series champion Chicago Cubs — with the other two in the first week of May.
Time Warner Cable, which was acquired last year by Charter Communications, which rebranded it as Spectrum, had been on the hook since 2014 to air Dodgers games exclusively when it committed $8.35 billion for a 25-year hold on TV rights. That has led to fury among fans who don’t subscriber to the service.
The Justice Department sued AT&T’s DirecTV in November, saying that it was “the ringleader of a series of unlawful information exchanges” to keep SportsNet LA off of pay TV.
The Dodgers, who have won four consecutive NL West division titles but are 0-for-4 in reaching the World Series during that run, will be hitting the field without Vin Scully in the booth for any games for the first time since 1949. He retired last year after calling Brooklyn and L.A. Dodgers games for 67 seasons; a half-dozen of his final games also were simulcast on KTLA. Joe Davis takes over as full-time play-by-play man in 2017.
Here is the schedule of Dodger simulcasts (all times Pacific and represent when coverage begins on KTLA):
Wednesday, April 5, 6:30 PM vs. San Diego Padres
Sunday, April 9, 12 PM, at Colorado Rockies
Wednesday, April 12. 5 PM, at Chicago Cubs
Sunday, April 16, 1 PM, vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
Tuesday, April 18, 6:30 PM, vs. Colorado Rockies
Wednesday, April 19, 7 PM, vs. Colorado Rockies
Sunday, April 23, 1 PM, at Arizona Diamondbacks
Sunday April 30, 1 PM, vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Wednesday May 3, 6 PM, vs. San Francisco Giants
Sunday, May 7, 1 PM, at San Diego Padres