SANTA CLARITA, CALIF. — Once the COVID-19 pandemic ends and Major League Baseball games return, fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers will have far more to cheer about than their team’s resumption of play-by-play.
At long last, a seven-year impasse between AT&T-owned DirecTV and U-Verse and Charter Communications has ended. This means that, once life returns to normal, Dodgers games airing on Spectrum SportsNet LA can now be viewed by subscribers of the respective pay-TV services.
SportsNet LA became the Dodgers’ primary broadcast TV home in a January 2013 deal valued at $8.35 billion, with a 25-year term. The network debuted in 2014, shifting Dodgers games from KTLA-5 and a FOX RSN. While the majority of MVPD subscribers are legacy Time Warner Cable subscribers, now Spectrum customers, those with DirecTV and U-Verse had been left out of the mix, vexing many across the Southland for years.
For those with packages to streaming services AT&T TV and AT&T TV NOW, access to SportsNet LA starts April 8.
With the agreement, disclosed midday Wednesday (4/1), AT&T TV, DirecTV, U-verse TV and AT&T TV NOW customers in Southern California; Las Vegas; and across Hawaii will gain access to SportsNet LA’s live game coverage — once the new MLB season is cleared to begin.
Current programming includes a slate of original shows and studio programming, as well as marquee games from recent years.
Sister network Spectrum SportsNet, the home of the Los Angeles Lakers NBA franchise, is also included in the agreement.
“Working together with AT&T, we were able to reach an agreement to offer the region’s most popular teams to local fans across AT&T’s video platforms,” Spectrum Networks SVP Dan Finnerty said.
DirecTV customers in the Dodgers’ territory can tune to Channel 690.
Among those cheering the deal: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
“Our city has the best sports fans in the world, and they want to enjoy all of the excitement and tradition that Dodger games bring to Los Angeles,” he said. “I’m very pleased that Spectrum Sports and AT&T have reached this agreement, which will bring Dodger games into the homes of AT&T TV, DIRECTV, U-verse TV and AT&T TV NOW customers when the season begins and give more Angelenos the chance to cheer for our favorite team all the way to the World Series.”
While the AT&T agreement is a major development for the Dodgers and Lakers, those with Cox Communications, Frontier or Dish Network still can’t get either SportsNet LA, absent deals with those respective providers.
Cox and Frontier serve a small portion of the teams’ footprints.
— Reporting from RBR+TVBR in Santa Clarita, Calif., and Adam Jacobson in Delray Beach, Fla.