ineedmydodgers

SNLA Launches Tuesday, And You Probably Won’t Get It Yet

First, the good news: SNLA does in fact launch tomorrow at 7 p.m. Pacific Time. We’ll get to the assorted negatives in a minute, but it’s important not to gloss over that simple yet massive fact. After years of being a small portion of Prime Ticket, the Dodgers have their own 24/7 channel, and if you remember the endless legal battles of Frank McCourt — aimed almost entirely at retaining control of the franchise long enough to reap the benefits of being able to do something exactly like this — then you remember how far away this day seemed not all that long ago.

We first learned about this idea just over a year ago, and ever since then we’ve been excited to see it in action. If not for the prospective billions reaped in from television, this team maybe doesn’t have Yasiel Puig. Or Hyun-jin Ryu. Or Zack Greinke. Or Adrian Gonzalez. Or a long-term deal in place for Clayton Kershaw. And so on.

ineedmydodgersSo while we have no idea yet how programs like Backstage: Dodgers or Timeless Dodgers or Dodgermentary and all the rest will look, the point is that something fans of most teams — Yankees and Mets excepted — can only really dream of. That’s a great thing for fans, and just imagine if this launch was happening tomorrow with McCourt’s s*ht-eating grin proudly announcing it. No. This is better.

But of course, a television network is only fun if you can watch it, and at the moment, many of you can’t. This shouldn’t be a surprise, but to many it is. In Los Angeles on Time Warner, you can get it on channel 239 (standard definition) or 431 (HD), and, as announced today, you can also pick it up in Bakersfield on Bright House on channels 21/107 (SD) and 1107 (HD). The Bright House release also noted that SNLA will be added to “Orlando, Tampa, Birmingham and Indianapolis service areas in March, and in its Detroit service area in April,” which is a motley collection of cities if I’ve ever heard one. That was the southern division of the XFL, right?

That means, for the moment, that if you have DirecTV, or AT&T U-Verse, or Charter or Cox or Verizon or whatever other cable provider, you don’t have SNLA yet and aren’t likely to for the launch barring some unexpected announcement tomorrow. (Whether or not other local Time Warner installations around the country will have it, I do not know.) I cannot reiterate this enough: while surely disappointing, this is in no way a surprise. Carriage fights are a fact of life in this business. When and if you don’t get SNLA the moment it launches, it’s not because DirectTV hates you. It’s not because SNLA hates you. (It might be because Comcast hates you, but then, you need a soul to hate, don’t you?) It’s because these are big-money deals, and they never ever get resolved until the last second, or sometimes after.

That doesn’t mean that this is absolutely going to stretch into the regular season, though it might, and for some unlucky people, it may very well do so. We saw that happen with the Lakers, of course, and the Padres, and the Astros still aren’t on local TV for much of Houston. I can’t see that happening for Southern California’s biggest cable companies, but it happens, and it’s an unfortunate fact of life.

But really, annoying as it may seem, launch date isn’t the deadline. As far as I know, zero other teams broadcast 100 percent of their games — the Yankees, for example, have 26 of 32 scheduled, and the Mets are doing 14 on SNY — and it makes us look so, so bad when we complain about missing the first few. I want to see the channel too, and I don’t know if I will be able to tomorrow, on my not-LA Time Warner. At least we’ll be able to see the games on MLB.tv, which does not have a blackout policy in place for the spring, and is not affected by all this.

I’m looking forward to what this channel has to offer, and so should you. I’m also not going to be very surprised when so many of us aren’t able to actually watch it on day one. That’s because expectations should be placed properly. Anyone without Time Warner who thought for sure, 100 percent, no questions asked, that they were seeing the channel at launch either hasn’t been paying attention or is just fooling themselves. The channel will come, and hopefully soon. These companies just don’t feel the pressure until actual real content is being missed — you no doubt remember the CBS/Time Warner summer blackout that ended mostly because the NFL season was about to start — and spring training games don’t count for that.

We’ll get the channel, we just might need to wait. Now if real, actual season games are being played and people can’t see them without doing some shady business to their internet connections to avoid the MLB.tv blackout? Then I’ll be right there with you. For now, patience. Good things are coming.

 


About

Mike wrote daily for over six long years (2007-13) about the Dodgers at Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness, which was named 2011′s “Best Sports Blog” by LA Weekly. He can currently be found writing multiple times per week at FanGraphs and ESPN, has been a producer and editor for Sports on Earth, and built The Hardball Times. He lives in New York City and will probably be asleep or on vacation when awesome things happen.


377 comments
tpmerrill
tpmerrill

I just cancelled MLB Extra Innings (via DirecTV).  I live in Tennessee, so I am converting to watching all the games on my iPad using the MLB At Bat app.  Honestly, I found myself doing that a lot last year, because I can carry the game with me all over the house.  I emailed their Customer Support and said that they basically lost a premium service from my account because they won't carry SNLA.  They're response was basically "we're willing to lose that rather than give an inch to SNLA".  Wonder if they'll say the same thing in August when I drop them completely because they won't carry the SEC Network (I know most of you don't care about that one).

LA_Woman
LA_Woman

@Lobo Was having a terrible work day, so guess what I did? Three things: It's his bestest & most beautiful, it's the work of a man saying goodbye, and it was almost too much for me (for reasons I can't go into for fear of spoiling)

TheReggieHurley
TheReggieHurley

random math time: if you find the cdf of a uniformly distributed random variable and then invert it what distribution does your new random variable have? 

KMT59
KMT59

Night All...my son wants me to help him play candy crush

KMT59
KMT59

I know I'm good at least until 4/3 because if i don't go to the games here locally then they will be shown on FSSD

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

so how long should i hold out on switching to TWC? my previous customer service experiences with them were horrific, directtv has been better. wait til opening day? 

Lobo
Lobo

@LA_Woman @Lobo You really think it's his best?  Holy shit that's high praise.  I doubt it can possibly top Spirited Away for me but even if it doesn't that still leaves plenty of room for it to be a damn great film

Lobo
Lobo

@TheReggieHurley I would think it would just end up being a constant decreasing distribution.  Essentially akin to a line of equation y=-x

Barney (Not Darwin)
Barney (Not Darwin)

@DBrim I saw him pitching in the Caribbean Series and couldn't help but wonder if he would've even been a Dodger if McCourt hadn't been cheap.

Lobo
Lobo

@Disgruntled Goat Don't worry, I'll live tweet the games for you while I watch them on Sports Net LA in Alabama

Barney (Not Darwin)
Barney (Not Darwin)

@Disgruntled Goat Hold out as long as possible or get their service and dump it as soon as other carriers get the network. Based on my experience with TWC today, their customer service still sucks

LA_Woman
LA_Woman

@Lobo @LA_WomanYeah, I'm thinking about going to see Spirited Away at the Nuart to see if I really think that.

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

@Barney G @Disgruntled Goat  the last time i had them, maybe 8 years ago, i canceled mid-cust service phone call. told them to come get their box off my porch. i swore 'd never again. but here we are. 

Lobo
Lobo

@LA_Woman @Lobo I actually have only watched his movies in English.  At some point I'll go back and watch all the dubs, but from what I hear, Disney has been very very faithful to the original scripts and I do love the voice casts for pretty much all of the dubs.  Not sure whether I'll see The Wind Rises in English or with subtitles (if I even have the option)

LA_Woman
LA_Woman

@Lobo @LA_Woman Yeah, I already saw it in a theater. But like you said, it was also my favorite, so I'm curious what I would think seeing them both so close together.

I also saw The Wind Rises with subtitles, and that made a HUGE difference for me because I could understand some of the Japanese (which was NOT translated correctly). I think I've seen most of his movies dubbed in English.

Lobo
Lobo

@LA_Woman @Lobo Go.  See it for me.  Since I cannot see it in theaters, go in my stead.  Enjoy what I consider to be the greatest motion picture experience of all time

KMT59
KMT59

@Barney G @capnsparrow @KMT59 @Disgruntled Goat  only cox cable down in SD..so it's MLB audio. MLB extra inning with Directv so I get away broadcasts of all games shown by other carriers but no home broadcasts until they pick up SNLA

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

@Barney G @capnsparrow @KMT59 @Disgruntled Goat  Guess what? In this lovely metropolis I am stuck in they do not have TWC available. You even pay your utility bill to the city. You can only get Charter cable and they don't have SNLA either until the Feds approve the takeover and it gets sorted out

Barney (Not Darwin)
Barney (Not Darwin)

@Disgruntled Goat @Barney G I think they are now. But when they first launched their network all non-TWC subscribers couldn't watch any games for like the first month into the regular season. That's was the first thing I thought when I heard TWC was giving the Dodgers their own network. It's a preview of things to come.