Six years after it launched as Time Warner Cable Sportsnet, and four years since it changed its name to Spectrum SportsNet LA, the channel that broadcasts Dodgers games is finally available to DirecTV and AT&T U-verse customers, just in time for fans to be able to… not watch the Dodgers.
In breaking the news, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne made clear, “this is not an April Fools’ Day joke,” and it’s not. It’s much crueler than any prank.
While there are a multitude of television providers, anyone who has a television knows that the TV package you have access to often depends on where you live, particularly if you rent your home and even more so if you live in an apartment complex. So it’s not like Dodgers fans across Southern California have been able to just go ahead and say, “the heck with this, I want my Dodgers and I’m switching to Spectrum so I can get that channel!”
Instead, thousands — maybe millions — of Dodgers fans have missed out on six straight first-place seasons, MVP performances by Clayton Kershaw and Cody Bellinger, and the emergence of young stars Walker Buehler and Corey Seager. Sure, the channel can now show those fans what they missed, but that’s cold comfort to Dodgers fans currently wondering if they’ll ever see Mookie Betts play for their favorite team, period.
At least as the fight between SNLA and non-Spectrum carriers dragged on, they did make sure that all Los Angelenos had access to the most important broadcasts of the era, as Vin Scully’s final games were simulcast over-the-air on KTLA.
Baseball will eventually come back, and it’s good that when it does, all Dodgers fans will be able to watch their Boys of Summer — something that Cubs fans might not necessarily be able to do as the Marquee Network carriage saga continues. It’s just that right now, it feels like twisting the knife on the whole no-sports thing just a little bit more.