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Think DIRECTV Will Add the Dodgers? Not So Fast
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (April 1, 2014) -
The industry consensus has been that DIRECTV will add SportsNet LA, the new Los Angeles Dodgers channel, sometime in the next week or so. Why? Because that's what the satcaster did in 2012 when TWC SportsNet, the Los Angeles Lakers channel, was launched. Two weeks after the season began, DIRECTV came to terms with Time Warner Cable and added the regional sports net.

However, there is a major difference between that dispute and this one, at least as of now. When DIRECTV agreed to add the Lakers channel on November 15, 2012, Charter, Cox, Verizon and AT&T had already signed on. Dish and DIRECTV were the only major providers in the LA market that had yet to carry TWC SportsNet.

Consequently, there was considerable consumer and political pressure on DIRECTV to add the Lakers, which at the time, was arguably the most popular sports team in the sizable LA market.

But now, the only providers that have agreed to carry the Dodgers channel are Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Champion Broadband. Time Warner Cable manages the channel so that was a guarantee and the other two providers have small audiences in the LA market.

So, there's not as much urgency for DIRECTV -- or Dish, Charter, Cox, Comcast, Verizon or AT&T -- to add the Dodgers at this point. Baseball fans could switch providers and sign up with Time Warner Cable, but that's really the only viable alternative.

So until at least one or two major TV providers make the leap and add SportsNet LA, it's unlikely that the dominoes will begin to fall and the channel will get widespread distribution in the LA market.

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Phillip Swann is president and publisher of He has been quoted in dozens of publications and broadcast outlets, including CNN, Fox News, Inside Edition, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Financial Times, The Associated Press and The Hollywood Reporter. He can be reached at or at 703-505-3064.

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