The Los Angeles Dodgers have won three of their last four games and are on a roll. But you have to be there. No, really, you have to be there. Two months into the 2014 season, 70 percent of televisions in Southern California can't tune into games. That's because the new team channel, SportsNet LA, is still carried only by Time Warner Cable, which launched the channel after it paid the team a reported $8.35 billion for rights to Dodgers games for the next quarter century.
No other carrier has come to terms with TWC to carry the channel—not Comcast (CNBC's parent company, which is now seeking to buy Time Warner Cable), nor Cox Communications, Charter Communications, DISH Network, DirecTV, AT&T or Verizon Communcations.
"Thanx TWC for having everyone else miss out on the no hitter it's not like it happens every day a-------," tweeted @losdoyers. "There it is! The least-watched no-hitter in the modern era!" added @conwayshow.
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The Dodgers currently have the highest attendance in baseball, averaging more than 46,000 fans per game, but TV ratings are down. More fans go to the games than watch them on TV. ESPN reports that "an average of just 43,000 households are watching their games on TWC, according to Nielsen ratings, a drop of nearly 72 percent from last season, when games were carried by a Fox-owned station."
"We are eager for all consumers in the Dodger footprint to have access to SportsNet LA and we hope that providers will come on board soon," Time Warner Cable said in a statement to CNBC. "We will continue to work tirelessly to make that happen."
The cable company pointed out that fans can also access games by subscribing to Bright House Networks or Champion Broadband.