Q. I’m ready to cut the cord, but was wondering if Sling TV or DIRECTV Now had the SportsNet LA channel that carries the Dodgers games. — Tony, Manhattan Beach, California.
Tony, as you know, SportsNet LA, the TV home of the Los Angeles Dodgers, is a hard thing to watch. No, not because the channel isn’t well produced, but because it’s only available on one major pay TV service!
And that’s Charter, which has the exclusive rights to manage the channel for the next two decades.
DIRECTV, U-verse, Dish, Verizon and all other major pay TV services in the Los Angeles market have decided not to carry SportsNet LA because they believe that Charter is asking for too much money in carriage fees.
So, what about the new multi-channel, live streaming services, such as Sling TV and DIRECTV Now? Do they offer the Dodgers games?
Tony, sorry to say the answer is no. SportsNet LA is not available on Sling, DTV Now, Hulu, PlayStation Vue, fuboTV or YouTube TV.
I can hear your next question. Is there any chance that one or more live streamers will add SportsNet LA before the start of the 2018 regular season, which begins on March 29?
Well, Major League Baseball has publicly said it would like SportsNet LA to become available via streaming so, yes, there’s a chance. But as of now, it’s a strike out.
Final note: The only other teams that are not available on the multi-channel, live streaming services are the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals. MASN, which has the regional rights to those teams, has also refused to make their games available online other than via MLB.TV. And, as you probably know, the MLB.TV package only offers out-of-market games.
— Phillip Swann