The Los Angeles Dodgers are set to enter more homes in Southern California whenever the baseball season starts. For the first time since launching in 2014, the Dodgers television home Spectrum SportsNet LA reached a deal with AT&T for the network to be carried by DirecTV. In addition to DirecTV, the partnership also allows U-verse TV and AT&T TV NOW customers to receive SportsNet LA.
“This agreement underscores our commitment to provide all Dodgers fans the opportunity to enjoy our award-winning programming and live game coverage,” SVP, Spectrum Networks Dan Finnerty said in the press release. “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.”
Major League Baseball’s 2020 season is currently suspended indefinitely, but the agreement with AT&T still offers positivity for some SoCal Dodger fans who haven’t been able to watch local broadcasts since 2013. In the six years without SportsNet LA being on DirecTV, the Dodgers have won six NL West titles, played in two World Series, and saw their iconic broadcaster Vin Scully retire after 67 seasons with the club.
“As anxious as we all are for the ongoing pandemic to end and for the 2020 season to begin, we now have even more reason to be excited because this agreement will make Dodger baseball games and programming available for our fans on Spectrum, AT&T TV, DIRECTV, U-verse TV, and AT&T TV NOW,” stated Stan Kasten, President & CEO of the Los Angeles Dodgers. “I want to thank AT&T and Spectrum Networks for coming together on this agreement. We are eager to get this season started once it is deemed safe to do so everywhere.”
Even with the 2020 MLB season on hold, SportNet LA, like many RSN’s around the country, will continue to use their vault of classic games to keep fans entertained.
In place of last week’s Opening Day telecast, SportsNet LA re-aired the Dodgers 2013 and 2019 openers. Last Saturday, the network also gave fans a rebroadcast of the memorable broadcasts from iconic play-by-play voice Vin Scully including his 2016 appreciation ceremony, his final game at Dodger Stadium and Clayton Kershaw’s no-hitter.
Poll Data Shows Tepid Response To Tom Brady Joining FOX
“A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.”
FOX Sports reportedly signed Tom Brady to a 10-year deal worth $375 million to make the seven-time Super Bowl champion the new lead analyst for its top NFL broadcast once his playing career is over.
A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.
The poll said 2 in 5 NFL fans have a better opinion of FOX Sports following the deal, with 41% of NFL fans being at least somewhat more likely to watch a game with Brady as an analyst.
Data shows one-third of NFL fans think the deal Brady reportedly agreed to is worth about the same as its reported value.
That reaction could probably be described as “tepid”. That may be exactly what FOX expects and maybe all it wants.
Last week, Domonique Foxworth of ESPN suggested that the paycheck is less about what the network thinks Tom Brady means to viewers and more about showing the NFL that the network values its product.
FOX Not Interested In Joining Streaming Sports Wars
“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take?”
The CEO of FOX doesn’t plan on forking over billions of dollars to be people’s last choice for paid streaming services.
Lachlan Murdoch said at a time when more than 80% of American homes already have some kind of paid streaming service, it’s not worthwhile to jump on that train.
Amazon, Netflix and Disney+ typically account for the average streaming presence in a household.
“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take,” Murdoch said at a tech conference earlier this year. “And so the billions of dollars that’s being spent by multiple aspirants is all for that last position. And so we are extraordinarily — I want to say that — we’re happy to be sort of sitting on the sidelines.”
Murdoch told Benjamin Swinburne that when it comes to the NFL, FOX’s media rights are the same as CBS, NBC and ESPN. The main focus for the company remains on keeping games on TV.
“We don’t believe it helps us to put those rights under a streaming service or free on over-the-air. We think it’s very important that those rights remain exclusive to the broadcast environment,” Murdoch said.
FOX does stream games through its app, but it is only the games it is also carrying on its broadcast network or FS1.
NBA Draft To Get Simulcast From ESPN & ABC
“This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.”
ESPN is set for the 2022 NBA Draft coming up on June 23 at 8 p.m. from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The network announced Wednesday the crews that will handle coverage on both ESPN and ABC.
ABC will broadcast the first round in primetime. Kevin Negandhi will host and will be joined by Stephen A. Smith, Chiney Ogwumike and Jalen Rose. Monica McNutt will be reporting and interviewing draftees.
This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.
Malika Andrews will host both rounds for ESPN. Jay Bilas, Kendrick Perkins and Adrian Wojnarowski will share the set. Analysts Bobby Marks and Mike Schmitz will contribute.
“We’re thrilled that Malika Andrews will host this year’s ESPN presentation as she brings her well-documented, widespread skillset to our main set,” said David Roberts, head of NBA and Studio Production for ESPN. “The event will showcase the scope and depth of our NBA and college basketball talent roster with accomplished journalists and high-profile personalities across ESPN, ABC and ESPN Radio.”
ESPN will air a pre-draft red carpet show hosted by Cassidy Hubbarth from 5-6 p.m. Perkins and Richard Jefferson will also make appearances.