Magic Johnson Says Dodgers Brand Won’t Be Hurt By TV Deal

Magic Johnson

While the new Los Angeles Dodgers ownership group, led by president Stan Kasten, Earvin “Magic” Johnson and the Guggenheim Group has made it clear that they are committed to winning by spending a ton of money and hiring all of the best available front office people, there is still one problem facing the Dodgers’ ownership group.

While the Dodgers have won two straight National League West championships under their new ownership, leading the Major Leagues in attendance each year, fans can’t watch the games at home.

The Dodgers are in the second year of a massive 25-year, $8.35 billion contract with Time Warner Cable, but TWC is unable to reach agreements with other cable providers. Only 30 percent of Los Angeles area households have TWC as their provider, so that means that 70 percent of fans can’t watch the games on TV.

According to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times, Johnson believes that the TV issues has not affected the Dodgers’ brand:

No, it’s not hurting us,” Johnson said. “But we want to be on TV. You know that.”

Negotiations between TWC and other providers have been stalled pending government reviews of a proposed merger between TWC and Comcast. Despite the stall, Johnson said that they are still working to get an agreement done:

There are things going on,” Johnson said, offering no specifics. “There are meetings. There are people talking. There’s nothing we can tell you right now. But we are trying. We are working hard.”

Because TWC has exclusive TV rights in Los Angeles to Dodgers games, most nationally televised games are blacked out in Southern California, making going to the stadium the only way for people to see games. Because of that the Dodger Stadium attendance is already off to a record pace.

While the TV issue doesn’t seem like it will be resolved in the near future, it has not affected the team’s play on the field, as they just completed a three-game sweep of the Seattle Mariners.

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  1. Magic saying the “Dodger’s brand won’t be hurt by the TV deal”, is both un informed and naive. The simple fact that 70% of Los Angeles is ‘blacked out’, dis connects fans, hurts business owners who attract fans to watch games at their restaurants and bars, and hurts advertisers who are currently showing ads on Dodger telecasts! It has been reported that viewership is down to about 50,000 per game. This is from what was at least 130,000 in the past. I can’t imagine advertisers aren’t complaining to Time Warner. I know first hand that restaurant and bar owners are seeing a drop off that they attribute to the Dodger games not being on TV. I realize that the Dodgers have a contract, and THEY are getting paid. Apparently the fallout has not reached the Dodger front office YET!

  2. I’m sorry Magic but i disagree. It hurts the Brand because as a life long Dodger fan I haven’t been able to watch Dodgers games for the last two years. I get off to late to make it to the ball park. My favorite bar doesn’t get TWC. So i’m stuck looking for the score on SC. Its hurts the brand because i’m a fan and i cant watch the games. The brand is the Fans magic and 70% of us cant watch the game.

  3. We live in Texas, have TWC, and the station that is strictly Dodgers. Can’t watch a single game. Blacked out here. And we can’t go to a game. So it is affecting us. This needs to be resolved.

    1. Greed taking a part in ALL this..pffffff..B4 Cable when EVERY GAME WAS FREE TO WATCH…You ALL are Millionaires now–WTF??!!..if every plyr in MLB Pitched in — We would have a deal an kick to the curb good ol Time Warner..#RichGettingRicher. And We THE PEOPLE–THE FANS–Pay you..Without ur fans–You have NADA–NOTHING.#MONEYfixesEverything-FixThisCrap!..And you cant say We dont have the money–Biggest mlb franchise in Baseball who spends the most money-Cant even get a T.V deal for their fans to project more of Anything..more fans-more money-more opportunity…..YOU say you hired the best in front office..Lie!! Cause already a few people left w a history of a proven success record-But wait you didnt want to give those people a raise after 8-10 yrs w the Company-lol…L A M E ….Shame on you guys..Becareful what you guys talk about too-Cause as you can see–Everyone–Knows Everyone… 🙂

      1. Yeah..i attended Padres fanfest w my uncle..Cause he lives in Mission Bay.After the Fanfest We got to our hotel Laquinta..The have TWC. I was able to watch 40 mins of SNETLA, But as soon as it hit 6pm w the game coming on..it blkd out. 🙁 Its all about the Money….But try telling ur Children that…. :0

        1. Magic makes me sick. I wish fans will take his bobblehead and crap on it or throw in on the field.

  4. No wonder the Dodger front office is not open to making any compromises regarding the deal with Time Warner. They evidently have little understanding of what it means to be FAN. It is not only LA fans affected by this TV deal, thousands of fans in the central valley of California and all over the country can’t watch our Dodgers. When we were with Prime at least we got to see a majority of the games. As fans across California and other parts of the US can’t watch, or even listen on the radio in our case, interest will fade and then revenues from all the Dodger products will drop. Maybe when the $$$$$$ are affected it will get their attention. It is obvious that is where their priority is. It is not the fans as was promised when the new owners took over. A very disappointed Dodger fan of more than 60 years and my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren hope they get it right.

  5. Because of the Dodgers greedy deal with TWC, I now watch the Angels games on TV. My whole family and relatives have been faithful Dodgers fans since the time they played in Brooklyn. About half of my family have since become Angels fans, thanks to Magic, his crew and TWC being unfaithful to 70% of SoCal fans! I am on the brink of divorcing the Dodgers, throwing out my Dodgers clothes and flags, not attend anymore games, and start rooting for the Angels. I know I am not the only one who feels this way. Please please please have the Dodgers games back on TV for us non-TWC viewers!

  6. Well Magic from your delusional statement this clearly shows how out of touch you are with Dodger fans. I think you should have a new nickname, “Bubble Boy” or “Crystal House”. It must be nice looking at all us little folk down here from your shinning crystal house on the hill. Shame on you.

    Some like me are disabled and can’t go to a game if I wanted to. I knew when there was no negotiations during the off-season that your bold statement in late 2014 there would be Dodgers games for everyone in 2015 was an out an out lie. Your just a mouth piece that will say anything no matter the consequence. I use to respect you Magic. You’re nothing but the second coming of Frank McCourt.

    I will not buy one hat, one jersey, one Dodger dog, and obviously not one ticket.

  7. This is really sad. I have friends in the greater LA area and they say that this ban is far to extensive, While I don’t think it will hurt the brand, it’s going to be a bit dicey on “Fan Appreciation Day” when those that can’t physically or economically get to the stadium but are still bleeding Dodger Blue won’t be able to feel a part of the fan base being appreciated. Electronic media has made this blackout absurd and an unnecessary part of the contract. It’s not helping attendance and it’s downright annoying.

  8. Take his statue down from the Staples center.
    No one that cares about the Los Angeles fans like he does, should have something like that in this town. Take that statue and melt it into a coin. The real Magic is showing through.

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