The Los Angeles Dodgers are entering their fourth season in which local residents of the Southern California area are blacked out from watching the team with SportsNet LA being unavailable in most cable programming. Besides the back-and-forth see-saw over the years to try to make a deal work for both sides, it was reported in February that DirecTV, Verizon Fios, and other cable providers are not expected to carry the Dodgers exclusive network by the 2017 MLB season.
However, while both parties attempt to work out a middle ground to strike a deal that seems far long overdue, KTLA will broadcast 10 regular-season games, according to Bill Shaikin of Los Angeles Times:
“KTLA-TV Channel 5 is close to a deal in which it would carry 10 Dodgers games, all of which would be in April and May, according to a person familiar with the deal but not authorized to discuss it. The deal, if finalized, could be announced as soon as Wednesday.”
KTLA, who is owned by the Tribune Broadcasting subsidiary of Tribune Media, did something similar at the end of the 2016 season when they reached a deal to simulcast the final six games of now-retired Hall of Fame broadcaster, Vin Scully. However, that was not the first time it had occurred. In October 2014, the local independent station KDOC-TV Channel 56 aired the last six games of the regular season in midst of the blackout in nearly all of Southern California.
There is an on-going lawsuit between AT&T-DirecTV that was filed by the United States Justice Department last November alleging that the cable providers were the ringleaders in colluding against Spectrum and distribution of SportsNet LA. DirecTV explained their stance was in response to carriage fees, not an orchestrated plan to block distribution to their subscribers.
While that matter awaits a decision, the Dodger-owned channel is currently only available to Bright House Networks, Charter, and Spectrum subscribers. The Dodgers begin the new season at home on Apr. 3 against the San Diego Padres.