When Guggenheim and Company overpaid for the Dodgers, fans were ecstatic that Frank McCourt was out and now the team was free to spend and buy whatever they wanted because they would soon be getting a huge TV contract that would give the Dodgers more power than any other team in baseball.
I think I was the lone voice saying “be careful what you wish for!” Boys and girls, it’s time for a little I told you so!
Yesterday there wee a couple of articles that deal with the fallout of the new Dodgers TV deal. Matthew Futterman wrote and article for The Wall Street Journal entitled Pay TV Balks at Price of Dodgers. In part he states:
Fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers applauded as the team was sold for $2 billion, and cheered with each expensive new addition.
Now the bill is coming due. And guess who is going to pay the price?
Actually, you don’t need to guess. The way baseball finds ways to separate fans from their money knows no bounds.
New stadiums funded by taxpayers are pretty much standard across the country. So are $11 beers and $15 sandwiches for those who can afford the price of a ticket at the ballpark to begin with.
But now teams are finding ways to reach deep in the pockets of those who wouldn’t know Clayton Kershaw from Alex Rodriguez. And that could mean more than half of Dodger fans in the Los Angeles area — and countless others living elsewhere — may find themselves unable to watch their favorite team when the season begins later this month.
Maybe there will be an agreement with the other providers, but Dahlberg goes on to say:
Even if they are, what used to be seen for either free or a small fee will now cost viewers plenty. Baseball has now gotten the pay-per-view it has coveted for so long, and the best part is it’s cleverly disguised as just part of your monthly bill.
On an earnings call with analysts last month, DirecTV CEO Mike White called the fee Time Warner is asking for its Dodger Network — various reports put it between $4 and $5 a month — a “staggering increase relative to any other benchmark in Major League Baseball.”
For those who can’t bear spending the summer without Vin Scully that’s probably a fee they’re willing to pay. But sports programming is already a big chunk of everyone’s cable or satellite bill, and without a la carte pricing everyone pays. That includes people who would much rather spend the evening watching “American Idol” than the Dodgers playing the San Diego Padres.
He concludes by stating what I thought was obvious for a long time: “The real problem, though, isn’t the business dispute between cable and satellite providers and the new networks. It’s the unending greed of Major League Baseball, which continues to sacrifice the good of the game for the money its owners can make from the game.”
Frank McCourt was a greedy, envious little man who wanted to be rich and would step on anyone to reach his goal. Guggenheim and Company is a rich behemoth who will also step on anyone to reach their goals. Unless things change, this could mark the start of the demise of baseball as we know it… which is why I have not enthusiastically embraced this ownership group. Part of me is very sad!
- I still think the Dodgers will try Gordon at the leadoff spot
- There are the dog days, especially this year, with the trip to the Land Down Under. I put very little stock into anything I am seeing right now.
- Chone Figgins is lock to make the team, no matter what the Dodger writers say.
- When the bell rings, the Dodgers will be ready – they are just trying to get out of Spring Training healthy.
- It will be hit and miss with me for the next few weeks – I just got back from Las Vegas, I am headed to Orlando next week and Myrtle Beach the week afterward, so I’ll post when I can!