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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Dodgers Still "Very Concerned" Their Team Will Still Be Off The Air

It's hard to understand how anyone could be so thoroughly clueless that they thought this wouldn't be the outcome, but here we are in 2015, and the Dodgers still won't be on cable TV this year, report Bill Shaikin and Meg James.
"I'm very concerned," Dodgers Chairman Mark Walter said Thursday, at the conclusion of baseball's owners' meetings.
The Federal Communications Commission has until March 30 — six days before the Dodgers' season opener — to approve or reject a merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable. The FCC has delayed the proceedings twice and could do so again.
The other side of the table has some blunt words for the Dodgers' TV arm:
"Time Warner Cable and the Dodgers' front office owe fans the simple freedom to see Dodger games on TV without obligating every TV customer to bail out Time Warner for its reckless overspending," DirecTV said in a statement. Kasten declined to comment.
"Reckless overspending" is an understatement. We could be into 2016 before this goes away; the Dodgers have deep pockets. I still maintain a chain reaction bankruptcy is not impossible.

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It seems inevitable that something at least mildly catastrophic is coming for MLB regarding TV rights, and the longer MLB puts off any corrective action, the more catastrophic the denouement is likely to be. I completely agree that chain-reaction bankruptcies are possible, especially if the relevant Federal lawsuit now underway results in a diminution of cable providers' rights.

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