The Dodgers have had a high-value local television deal in place since 2014, but for a long time large swaths of the team's broadcast territory haven't been able to see the team's games. That's because AT&T and its broadcast platforms -- DirecTV, AT&T TV, U-verse TV, and AT&T Now -- have been involved in a dispute with Spectrum Networks over carriage fees (i.e., how much carriers would pay to carry those games). Finally, that stalemate has ended, and Dodgers games will be available on those platforms beginning with the 2020 MLB season.
"This agreement underscores our commitment to provide all Dodgers fans the opportunity to enjoy our award-winning programming and live game coverage," said Dan Finnerty, senior vice president, Spectrum Networks. "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."
The deal means that users of those aforementioned platforms in Southern California, Hawaii, and the Las Vegas area will be able to view Dodgers games. For the last four seasons, KTLA-TV has simulcast Dodger games, but that didn't cover the entirety of the area affected by the stalemate.
"Our city has the best sports fans in the world, and they want to enjoy all of the excitement and tradition that Dodger games bring to Los Angeles," L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said of the agreement in a statement. "I'm very pleased that Spectrum Sports and AT&T have reached this agreement, which will bring Dodger games into the homes of AT&T TV, DIRECTV, U-verse TV and AT&T TV NOW customers when the season begins and give more Angelenos the chance to cheer for our favorite team all the way to the World Series."
While it's not yet certain when (or if)will allow the 2020 season to begin, whenever it does the Dodgers figure to be among the best teams in baseball. They've won the last seven NL West titles and participated in two of the last three World Series. They're also coming off a 106-win season in 2019, and this offseason they swung a blockbuster trade for Mookie Betts, who may be the best player in baseball not named Mike Trout. In other words, these newly accommodated viewers should have a top-shelf product to enjoy in 2020.