Q. I want to watch the Dodgers this season, but I don’t want to get Charter. They are way too expensive. Is there a way to stream the Dodgers channel without cable or satellite? — Mads, Marina Del Rey, California.
Mads, as you probably know, Spectrum SportsNet LA, the TV home of the Los Angeles Dodgers, launched in 2014. Since that first year, I’ve received numerous e-mails from readers in the LA market asking if they could get the channel via streaming. The inquiries were largely driven by the fact that Charter was the only major pay TV operator in the area to carry the channel.
Well, I am happy to report that you now can get SportsNet LA on DIRECTV and a streaming service.
Charter, which has the management rights to SportsNet LA, announced earlier this year that it struck an agreement with AT&T that allows it to carry the Dodgers channel on DIRECTV and AT&T TV Now, the company’s live streaming service. For the first time this season, Dodgers fans in the LA market will be able to watch their favorites without a cable or satellite subscription. (Click here to see if SportsNet LA is available on AT&T TV Now in your zip code.)
(Note: The pandemic-shortened MLB season starts this Thursday with a doubleheader, including a matchup between the Dodgers and San Francisco Giants.)
Of course, AT&T TV Now is not cheap; packages start at $55 a month, but SportsNet LA is actually in the streamer’s $80-a-month Max package. At $80 a month, you are not saving much each month compared to a cable or satellite bill.
But at least you can watch SportsNet LA on multiple mobile and Smart TV devices, and you don’t need to sign a two-year contract, as cable and satellite companies often make you do. There’s also no cancellation fees, which comes in handy if you just want to sign up for the 2020 baseball season. You could cancel after October and renew your subscription next April, saving you from paying that $80 a month during the non-baseball months.
(Note: You can now also get SportsNet LA on AT&T TV, not to be confused with AT&T TV Now. However, AT&T TV, which delivers programming over a company-supplied set-top, does require a two-year agreement with cancellation fees.)
SportsNet LA’s games are also available via streaming on the MLB.TV ‘out-of-market’ package, which costs $59.99 for this season. But, of course, SportsNet LA is in your market, not out, so you couldn’t watch the Dodgers on MLB.TV. The games would be blacked out.
That is, unless you wanted to use a VPN. Click here to learn more about VPNs.
Mads, hope that helps. Happy viewing, and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann