Wednesday, March 30, 2016

You Should Expect No Expanded SportsNet LA Coverage Any Time Soon

The very public negotiations ongoing in the Time Warner/SportNet LA talks with other carriers is rather strange. 

Last week we got word that Time Warner was back at the negotiation table.  They had lowered their asking price for the Dodgers SportsNet LA channel to a more reasonable level - at roughly $3.50 per month per subscriber.

Then, a stream of public releases from the LA Mayor, the Dodgers President Stan Kasten and MLB Commissioner Manfred came to the forefront.  Following that was an outpouring of disdain from the chattering classes at the unseemliness of evoking Vin Scully's name in this process. Combine that with the notion that the current offer on the table was for only a one-year deal and you have a potential brewing problem.

Now, that problem is bordering on a disaster.  According to Meg James at the LA Times there are currently no carriers in the Southland willing to take the initial offer from Time Warner, and it appears that the one-year timeframe is to blame:
Pay-TV operators privately acknowledged that they were wary of signing a one-year deal with Time Warner Cable. They worried that the price of the channel would soar within a couple of years so that Time Warner Cable could recoup some of the costs of its expensive arrangement with the Dodgers' owners.
Time Warner Cable now is offering a six-year deal. The first year would be offered at the lower $3.50-a-month introductory price, with a slightly higher rate in subsequent years, according to one person familiar with the proposal who asked not to be identified discussing sensitive deal points.
It seems to me the squeeze is on, and it's the competing carriers who have all the momentum.  Based on the below snippet, carriers might be betting that they can get an even better deal if they wait.
There are several reasons the other pay-TV providers continue to refuse to play ball. One is that Time Warner Cable is in the process of being acquired by another firm, Charter Communications, and some providers are waiting to see whether Charter offers the channel at an even lower rate.
And that's the gist of it.  The competitors know that Time Warner is bleeding money, and they figure why bother with the opening salvo when what's coming down the pike will be even better. 

At this point I think it is clear that there will be no expansion of coverage by the start of the Baseball season.  Heck, as I've stated in the past, this might not happen until the proposed merger is closed; which is slated to happen by mid-season.

Oy Vey!  What a cluster F---!

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Angels Exhibition Series Starts Tomorrow - Pregame Info and Other Stuff!

Spring training is quickly coming to a close.  In fact, the very first homestand at Dodger Stadium begins tomorrow against the Anaheim Angels, and it represents the very last series of games before Opening Day. 

These games marks the return of the Dodger Stadium Express which offers two express services to Dodger Stadium: the Dodger Stadium Express Union Station and the Dodger Stadium Express South Bay.  Go here for information.

Also, for fans attending these games you should purchase advance parking passes online.  Advance parking prices are $10 and parking at the gate is $20. Go here for information.

BTW, the Dodgers 2016 yearbook will be available at stores.  Check out what it looks like on the right.

Below are various pregame events and activities planned for Thursday and Friday.

2016 Walmart Marketside Pizza Baseball - All the Dodgers Cards

Could this be the start of something?

Are retail food issues coming back?

Coming to a Walmart near you (if not already there) are Topps produced Baseball cards located within packages of both pizza and bread sticks boxes in the Marketside deli area.  Each package includes a single pack of three cards, a coupon and a Topps Bunt code.  The complete set consist of 50 cards, and there are no special inserts like autographs or relics.  Go here for an complete checklist.  These cards will be available until late-June. 

Only two Dodger players are available.  Check them out below.

BTW, if you go searching for these be sure to make sure the pack is in the box.  Apparently, you can open the boxes without any fuss, and the packs are not adhered or glued to the cardboard.  So, unscrupulousness collectors may try to steal them.   

#45 Clayton Kershaw                                 #47 Corey Seager

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Mickey Hatcher, Justin Turner and Adrian Gonzalez

Here are this weekends autograph opportunities and events throughout the Southland. As always, be sure to check the Blue Heaven Calendar for other events (a link can always be found on the tab at the top of this page, just left of center), and always confirm with the establishment. Everything is subject to change.  Please email me with any tips about upcoming events in Southern California.  As the rest of the week progresses I'll update this post with other events (if there are any) as I become aware of them.  Also, I don't always list every event below, so be sure to check my Calendar.  I always try to favor free signing events over paying events.  Click on any pic to embiggen.


Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Spring Game 30/Home Game 15

Throughout Spring Training the Dodgers PR department sends out helpful daily notes from Camelback Ranch, and I am happy to pass them along.  See what they've written below.
Cleveland Indians (14-12-4) vs. LOS ANGELES DODGERS (13-13-3)
Wednesday, March 30, 2016 – 1:05 p.m. PT | Camelback Ranch - Glendale
RHP Corey Kluber (3-1, 2.21) vs. LHP Clayton Kershaw (2-0, 2.25)
TV: None Radio: None

(Ross Stripling, pic via Jon SooHoo via Dodgers on twitter)

HOMEWARD BOUND: The Dodgers take on the Indians this afternoon in their final Cactus League contest before returning to Los Angeles for the Freeway Series against the Angels. The clubs will meet Thursday (7:10 p.m., LHP Scott Kazmir vs. LHP Andrew Heaney) and Friday (7:10 p.m., RHP Kenta Maeda vs. LHP Hector Santiago) at Dodger Stadium, with the series shifting to Anaheim for a 6:05 p.m. game Saturday (LHP Alex Wood vs. RHP Nick Tropeano). After an off-day Sunday, the Dodgers kick off the regular season on Monday against the Padres at PETCO Park – just five days away!

Blog KIosk: 3/30/2016 - Dodgers Links - Wood, Kershaw and Jackie Robinson

I had failed to mention that yesterday was the eight year anniversary of the legendary exhibition game between the Dodgers and Red Sox at the LA Coliseum.  115,300 fans were in attendance; establishing a new MLB record.

Featured above is a AP press photo taken of the stadium during the Dodgers very first home game on April 18, 1958 against the Giants, via an auction listing on eBay.  78,672 fans attended that game.

Below are more links to check out:
“A new breed of Republicans has taken over the GOP,” Robinson wrote just after Goldwater claimed his party’s nomination. “It is a new breed which is seeking to sell to Americans a doctrine which is as old as mankind—the doctrine of racial division, the doctrine of racial prejudice, the doctrine of white supremacy.” He continued, “If I could couch in one single sentence the way I felt, watching this controlled steam-roller operation roll into high gear, I would put it this way, I would say that I now believe I know how it felt to be a Jew in Hitler’s Germany.”