A funny thing happened when MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred met with the media this week prior to the All-Star Game: no one asked him about the Dodgers’ television situation.
That’s probably because Charter Communications, which acquired Time Warner Cable in May and now co-owns SportsNet LA with the Dodgers, seems no closer to increasing SNLA’s distribution range now than it did last month (or the month before that, or the month before that…). Time Warner lowered the cost to carry the network in March, but that did nothing to spur negotiations with AT&T/DirecTV. That was the last gasp. There’s been nothing resembling “hope for a resolution” since.
The addition of Charter’s subscriber footprint did have one side effect: SportsNet LA’s television ratings increased 51 percent in Household Ratings, and 56 percent in Average Viewers, prior to the All-Star break compared to the same period in 2015.
According to figures provided by Charter, SportsNet LA averaged a 1.21 Household Rating and 91,381 Average Viewers through the Dodgers’ first 91 games. That represents a 51 percent increase in Household Ratings (1.21 vs. .80) and a 56 percent increase in Average Viewers (91,381 vs. 58,564) when compared to the team’s 2015 television ratings through the first 91 games.
In addition, when compared to the Angels television ratings on Fox Sports West, SportsNet LA has rated 11 percent higher in Household Ratings (1.21 vs. 1.09) and 3 percent higher in Average Viewers (91,381 vs. 88,862) this season per Charter.
Charter subscribers have had access to SportsNet LA since June 2015, so those viewers would not have made a major impact on SNLA’s pre-All-Star break ratings last year.
The Dodgers open the “second half” of the season today in Arizona.