Fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers are up in arms. The team signed a massive $7 billion, 25 year deal partnering with Time Warner Cable to provide an exclusive, all Dodgers all the time channel that shows all regular season and spring training games, as well as special Dodgers programming.
However, because Time Warner Cable hasn’t signed deals with any other local cable or satellite providers to feature the channel, many fans are without access to Southern California’s most popular baseball team. And the fans have hijacked a social campaign initially launched to put pressure on the local providers to give in to Time Warner Cable’s demands, and turned it around against the cable provider.
#INeedMyDodgers is the social campaign that has been featured by Time Warner Cable on-screen during games, and online on their Twitter account and Facebook page. The channel, Time Warner Cable SportsNet LA, continues to publish posts with the hashtag although fans are outraged at their parent company’s inability to reach a compromise with local affiliates.
Most posts are game related, but the backlash has been quite severe. Fans with any other cable or satellite provider, by some estimates about 70% of the region, have turned to social media to express their frustration. For example, an Easter post meant to amp up tune-in to a Dodger day-game, features a top comment from an angry fan:
Another post shows fans clearly blaming Time Warner Cable for their frustration:
The team, projected to be one of the strongest squads in all of Major League Baseball, is facing serious backlash from its fans due to its TV deal. And their chosen network is seemingly struggling to control its own social media campaign. SportsNet LA is hoping that with enough fan pressure, other providers will keel over and accept their terms. They have even started a website with a fill-in form meant for fans to send to their providers in order to pressure them into a deal.
But as the comments show, even that doesn’t seem to be working.