Tag Archives: dodgers

Giving you the (L.A.) Business: Six months into 2020 COVID-19, what’s the dollars and sense of L.A. sports business? LABJ looks into it

By Tom Hoffarth

In trying to piece this story together for the Los Angeles Business Journal for its Sports and Business issue that lands today, we reached out to Roy Weinstein, the managing director of Micronomics, the L.A.-based research and consulting firm that often does work for the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission.

IMG_1270The question here: Is there a way to quantify the economic impact that Los Angeles sports is having from the current COVID-19 pandemic? It’s a broad ask, but Weinstein gave it a far more direct response that we anticipated:

“Although the economic impacts are having devastating effects on people’s lives, I believe that for now, the focus must be on containing the pandemic rather than the economy. Should we really be concerned about economic impact of cancelled sporting events in the face of a pandemic producing unimaginable death counts and debilitating illness?
Until the case count declines, and reliable, rapid testing becomes accessible to all, and a commercially and medically successful vaccine arrives, and treatments are available for those who don’t receive or choose to take the vaccine, the community will be unable to get out from under, and children will be unable to safely return to school — let alone Dodger games.

“The choices we face are not binary, i.e. 1) open up to help the economy or 2) shelter in place and take preventive measures to contain the virus. Since without containment, the economy will never reach its full potential, for the moment, I’m not thinking about sports, ticket sales, sponsorships and TV rights. I’m thinking about testing, vaccines and treatment so as to protect both athletes and attendees. Until investments in these areas bear fruit, we need to keep the focus on protecting the citizenry (stay at home orders, social distancing, masks, etc.). There will be plenty of time down the road to assess the impacts.
“I’m sorry I can’t be of more help for now. Take care and stay safe.”

Weinstein said what goes beyond charts, number crunching and recovery plans.
In talking to leadership at major L.A. sports franchises — the Lakers’ Tim Harris, the Dodgers’ Stan Kasten and the Rams’ Kevin Demoff — we still measured their take on what they can, can’t and are hopeful to try to accomplish in these times, all careful to mirror if not repeat what Weinstein was saying as well.
With that, here are links to the two cover stories (you get a few free looks per month at LABJ until the paywall comes up, and why the heck not get a subscription while you’re in this journalism business model):

== The state of L.A. sports as the Lakers, Dodgers, Rams, Chargers and Clippers are in Forbes.com’s latest World’s Most Valuable Sports Teams for 2020
== How LeBron James’ SpringHill Entertainment media company can increase its impact with the Lakers’ latest NBA title run all the way in Orlando, Fla.

Also: Last March, we had an extended conversation with Rams owner Stan Kroenke about the state of SoFi Stadium and everything else. If you want to revisit that, it’s at this LABJ link.

CTRL+ALT+DEL: A capitalistic re-direct with the Dodgers-AT&T-DirecTV PR “news flash” … details not on SportsNet LA

By Tom Hoffarth

The story was big enough to be on the front-page of Thursday’s Los Angeles Times print edition: “Dodgers’ channel finally plays ball: TV standoff ends and games to be available in almost all of L.A.”

In a tight, one-column piece of real estate allotted to this business announcement that somehow wedged its way into everything far more life-and-death in today’s world, maybe the headline was restricted in what it could actually convey. Regardless, it rang hollow.

The online story could couch it a different way: “After six years, the Dodgers’ channel will be available in L.A. What happened?

91333642_512922749651069_6497779441197098395_nTruth is, nothing substantial has happened.

Other than DirecTV viewers now find Dodgers’ classic reruns on the team-owned SportsNet L.A., arriving on Channel 690 for the time being. Whatever else is streaming on the AT&T  platforms is another element if you’re looking for silver linings.

Without games going on, what’s to celebrate?

More importantly, and to be accurate, is that SportsNet L.A. launched just prior to spring training for the 2014 Major League Baseball season, has been “available” for the last four-plus years throughout Los Angeles — since Charter Communications bought Time Warner Cable in May, 2015 and the combined territory covered about 90 percent of the Dodgers’ TV region.

A good many just choose not to drop one system and pick up another to get it. Many of them were DirecTV customers.

Based on years of following and reporting on this back to when the red flags came up when it announced in 2014, and with our current contacts in the business, here’s what we can conclude about all this: Read more

A SIGN OF THE TIMES: THE DODGERS, YOUTUBE, VIDEO STREAMING … START SCREAMING

By Tom Hoffarth
The premise started rather simple in what ended up as this week’s version of the L.A. Times sports media column:
A) YouTube does a swell job at streaming free MLB games.
Which reminds us …
B) The Angels stream their Fox Sports West games on the Fox Go App.
But …
C) The Dodgers do not stream SportsNet L.A. games on the Spectrum App. Even if you subscribe to a service that gets SNLA.
That’s kinda strange, isn’t it?
D) Would the Dodgers considering taking the channel they actually own and making it available for streaming, a service that more in the younger demographic are comfortable with, and even those older can learn how to use via this YouTube template?
The Dodgers declined to comment, and Charter/Spectrum, which is in charge of the distribution, dismissed it. Read more

A SIGN OF THE (L.A.) TIMES: DOUG GLANVILLE, AND THE JACKIE ROBINSON EXPERIENCE

By Tom Hoffarth

Imagine what Jackie Robinson could have accomplished in his messaging with modern-day media platforms.
“It would have been amazing,” Doug Glanville says. “He was a prolific letter writer to start with — but he really was viral before there was viral, even with just the traditional media outlets covering him.”The 48-year-old former MLB outfielder in his latest role at ESPN considers himself to be a media multitasker, thanks to his “crash course in every way one can express ideas.” He’s also thankful to be back as part of the network’s litany of Jackie Robinson Day remembrances on Monday — including L.A. receiving the national coverage of the Dodgers-Reds contest at Dodger Stadium that will include Rachel Robinson and two of her children.
Read more

We love L.A., too … but when do the visuals become too cliche? Fox figures it out during the World Series ‘equinox’

At some point, even the Hollywood sign sighs.
C’mon, do we have to spell this out for you — the nine giant white letters propped up in the Santa Monica Mountains don’t define Southern California. Nor does a glamour shot of Rodeo Drive. Nor something edgy like a Venice Beach skateboard park/tattoo parlor adjacent to an outdoor basketball court.
Sunday played out under the headline of Los Angeles’ “Sports Equinox”, and a lot of people across the country saw a lot of L.A. cultural touchstones if they were paying attention on TV.
Fox Sports, based in Century City, also stepped up its game.
For all it could control with its coverage of World Series Game 5 from Dodger Stadium, following its Rams-Packers NFL game from the Coliseum, the hometown network looked as if it wanted to flip the script for all those other cliché-laden visuals that others recycle in setting the stage for what they believe conveys L.A.
“Obviously, with people who live and work here knowing the ins and outs, we can show off this city in its true environment and not what a TripAdvisor might tell you about the top 10 spots to visit,” said Judy Boyd, Fox Sports’ senior vice president of production. “It’s not the Hollywood Walk of Fame or pop culture celebrities or what others may think.”
Here’s more from our L.A. Times piece in coordination with the conclusion of the World Series media coverage …

A SIGN OF THE (L.A.) TIMES: SORRY CHARLEY

By Tom Hoffarth
We’ve had plenty of interesting feedback to our L.A. Times’ piece on Dodgers radio/TV play-by-play man Charley Steiner, with a generous amount of support in his favor.
Great.
We’ve also had plenty more examples submitted about things he’s flat-out misinformed listeners to from his past.
As we also do daily stories on the World Series coverage for the Times, we wanted to revisit this Steiner story because, frankly, he’s not in the equation when we assess how we’ll consume a game, with the Fox TV feed, the ESPN Radio audio and even a live computer recreation.
That said… One more Steiner story from a reader:
A few years ago I recall a game when Travis Shaw was playing for the Red Sox, and the Dodgers were playing them in an interleague game. Charley, clearly reading from the media guide, says: ‘Travis Show hails from Washington Courthouse, Ohio.’ Then after one of those long silences, he says, ‘If I’m not mistaken, that’s the same hometown as former Dodgers closer Jeff Shaw.’ The emphasis wasn’t on the last name — leading me to believe it didn’t even dawn on him they had the same last name. He certainly had no idea that Travis Shaw was Jeff’s son! A little basic research would be nice in that spot.

So it goes …
And then there’s his bizarre reaction:

 

The Business Drill: How MLB Network marks 30 years since Kirk Gibson’s World Series HR and Rob Reiner getting past third base

By Tom Hoffarth
Now it can be told even if we’re not sure we want to know all the details:
When Rob Reiner met Michele Singer, it was as he was making the film “When Harry Met Sally.”
On a fateful Saturday night in mid-October 1988, the Hollywood writer, director and producer invited the photographer to his home in L.A. to watch NBC’s coverage of Game 1 of the World Series, which happened to feature his David-esque Dodgers against the heavily favored Goliath Oakland A’s. Read more

L.A. SPORTS HISTORY: Wonder what a Dodgers game at the Coliseum looked like?

We stumbled across this YouTube clip of a Dodgers-Cardinals game from the L.A. Coliseum in 1959.
The importance? None, really. The Cardinals’ 4-2 win in 10 innings on July 25, ’59 based on this Retrosheet.org box score and play-by-play description shows nothing really remarkable happened.
It’s just a cool way to step back in time — nearly 60 years — to see what a TV broadcast looked like, as well as a Coliseum experience. Read more