Bud Selig: 'Faith' in Dodgers TV deal

ByMark Saxon ESPN logo
Saturday, March 22, 2014

SYDNEY -- Vin Scully was behind the microphone for the start of his 59th season Saturday, but on Opening Day the majority of Los Angeles households couldn't hear the Hall of Fame broadcaster or watch the Los Angeles Dodgers play in Australia.

Time Warner Cable is the only major provider in Southern California that is carrying SportsNet LA, the new 24-hour Dodgers' channel.

Time Warner has only 32 percent of the Los Angeles market. MLB Network, which broadcast the Dodgers' two Australian games to the rest of the United States, is blacked out in the Los Angeles market.

"I have faith that the parties will work this out," commissioner Bud Selig at a news conference in Australia before the Dodgers took on the Arizona Diamondbacks. "That's all I can say. We always like things to be as smooth as possible, but there are always times in life when things don't work out exactly right. But I have faith the parties will work it out and I know the parties want to work things out."

Dodgers president Stan Kasten said he didn't know when the dispute between the channel and providers will end, but he said he was sure more providers will carry the channel before too long.

"I'm disappointed it hasn't been done already, but I'm confident it will get done," Kasten said.

In Houston, the majority of households have been unable to watch the Astros for more than a year because of a dispute between the team and cable providers. Then again, the Astros lost 111 games last year. Kasten said the Dodgers are offering a more valuable product to consumers.

"I think what we've done on our end is something very different than what Houston did, so I feel very comfortable with that: the quality of our team, the value of the product we're putting out there -- 24 hours of Dodger content," Kasten said.

The Astros have been negotiating for more than a year to get their games carried on providers other than Comcast, which is available in about 40 percent of the market.