Worst Television Blackout In Sports History

Vin Scully signed off the air for the last time in his 67 year career and did it, fittingly, after a Giants/Dodgers game.

Vin grew up a New York Giants fan before getting the gig as the voice of the Brooklyn Dodgers. And, as expected, his final sign off was pure class.

Nothing can be said of Vin that hasn’t already been said. And I could sit here and wax on and on about Vin Scully was the voice of what used to be our national pastime. Could go on and on about how he’s the greatest play by play voice ever. Two Hall of Famers in their own right, essentially said as much last night in Al Michaels and Bob Costas. And I echo what they said; Essentially what everyone has said.

But in addition to that, I have a special shoutout to the Dodgers, Time Warner Cable, and DirecTV is in order for failing to work out a deal that kept Vin’s final three seasons blacked out in 70% of Los Angeles-area households.

While the rest of the nation revels in Vin’s remarkable career, the fans locally in Los Angeles haven’t been able to hear him on television the last three seasons. This blackout has mainly ducked the national headlines, just as the Dodgers have hoped.

But it should be known, nationally, that the Dodgers –an institution in Los Angeles–a generational heirloom of a baseball team–hasn’t been seen for three years in 7 out of 10 homes that can’t even switch to Time Warner Cable if they wanted to.

Who’s to blame? Everyone. But mostly Time Warner Cable.

Time Warner Cable overpaid the Dodgers for their broadcast rights and played a game of chicken with DirecTV that they lost. The Dodgers took the money knowing full well that Time Warner Cable overpaid and wouldn’t be able to make it back, and Time Warner Cable got stuck with a vehicle that wasn’t worth as much as they owed. But when they cut that selling price in half for DirecTV, DirecTV should have jumped on board and made that product available to the millions of households that waited in the dark for it for three years.

We’re not talking about the Milwaukee Brewers or the Houston Astros here. We’re talking about the Los Angeles freaking Dodgers. We’re talking about a team whose logo of the intertwined L and A is the defacto insignia of the city.

We live in an era of short term memory. Just ask Adrian Peterson, and Bobby Petrino. The Dodgers are hoping that if you noticed Vin Scully wasn’t on TV for the final three years of his career, that you’ll soon forget.

Sure, we did get Vin’s last six games on KTLA, channel 5 in Los Angeles. But way too little, way too late. And the facts are facts. And the greatest to ever do it, walked away during the worst television blackout in sports history. Something Dodger fans will never  forget.



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