Q. I read your story about DIRECTV not carrying the Los Angeles Dodgers channel. So I have a question. If I get the MLB Extra Innings plan from DIRECTV here in Arlington, Virginia, will I be able to watch the Dodgers game even though they don’t have the channel? I grew up in LA and I still love my team. — Wendy, Arlington, Virginia.
Wendy, you’re right. DIRECTV has not carried SportsNet LA since the channel debuted in 2014. The channel is the TV home of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
So, you ask, if DIRECTV doesn’t have the rights to SportsNet LA, does that mean it can’t offer the channel’s broadcasts in its MLB Extra Innings package as well?
If you live in the LA market, which includes not only the Los Angeles area, but Las Vegas and Hawaii as well, the answer is yes. You can’t watch them. The Dodgers games on both SportsNet LA, and the channel that covers the team the Dodgers are playing, will be blacked out on Extra Innings.
That’s a long-standing policy of Major League Baseball and the other professional sports leagues. They have negotiated lucrative deals with the TV providers — and the regional sports channels — and if suddenly you could bypass those to watch your local team via an online pay package, those deals would be worth nothing.
But let’s jump to a question that will affect even more people.
Could you watch the SportsNet LA broadcasts (or other broadcasts involving the Dodgers) in DIRECTV’s Extra Innings package if you live outside those blacked out markets?
The answer is yes again. The Extra Innings package of out-of-market games, which costs $183 this season on DIRECTV, is regarded as separate from the satcaster’s dispute with Charter, which has the management rights to SportsNet LA.
So Wendy, a DIRECTV subscriber in Arlington, Virginia, which is not in the Dodgers market, will get SportsNet LA games in Extra Innings.
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— Phillip Swann