Wednesday, October 07, 2015

MLB Commissioner Manfred Kicks Dodgers TV Blackout Can Down Road

Pretty disappointing reading, that the LAT's Bill Shaikin couldn't get MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred to give two shits about the Dodgers being blacked out on television:

For two full seasons now, a majority of Dodgers fans have not been able to see their team on television. You have said the league cannot do anything about the situation, but at what point does the league consider this a black eye for the franchise, especially given how successful the team has been?

I’m not sure I quite said there is nothing we can do about it. Fundamentally, this is a dispute between the owner of those rights – Time Warner, who has an obligation to get distribution – and the [cable and satellite operators]. We are really concerned about having an iconic franchise like the Dodgers, who happen to be playing very well, only available in, what, 30% of the market? We would like to get to full distribution and have expressed our views on this topic to all the relevant parties.

So is there something you can do it about it? MLB does business with DirecTV on league-wide broadcast packages. Could you offer DirecTV an incentive that might persuade them to carry the Dodgers?

No. I wouldn’t do that. I can’t horse-trade 30-club assets to help one team get distribution. It is fundamentally a dispute that is outside our control, but we certainly have weighed in, in terms of our desire to get this resolved.

At the root of the dispute – and the Dodgers are not the first team to have their games blacked out in this way – is that cable and satellite distributors are reluctant to raise rates for fear that subscribers will cancel their service entirely. You don’t need a cable or satellite subscription to watch TV any more. How worrisome is that for you, given the substantial percentage of revenue clubs get from the local cable television contracts?

I think the market in L.A. has been particularly difficult, with the fragmentation of the RSNs [regional sports networks]. I think the ability to pass on additional costs to consumers is a concern. But I think the RSN business is a fundamentally sound business. Occasionally, there are going to be blips in terms of getting distribution. This is not the first one, and it probably will not be the last one. But the fundamentals of the RSN business, the strength of live sports programming, remains solid.

Manfred's responses are bullshit. MLB certainly good do something about this, particularly with DirecTV, and has chosen to do nothing. And it's the LA fans who suffer.


Fred's Brim said...

Shaikin needs to interview spank to find out how he watches games despite the blackout

karen said...

Now we are a FUCKING BLIP??? I have spent so much energy hating Bud Selig for years (for lots o'stuff) that just did a giant shift to Manfred. This shit is just like watching all the crazy politicking going on for 2016. Just get the job done assholes!! There is plenty of money out there for all of you greedy bastards.

After Spank's done educating Shaikin, we need to send over to Manfred for a little 'Come to Jesus' justice a la Dre.

QuadSevens said...

Have the other "blips" lasted 2 full seasons? Could the other "blips" last a total of 25 years?