Friendly reminder that by launching their own sports network, the Dodgers are destroying teams like the Pirates basically for forever.
— Pat Lackey (@whygavs) January 28, 2013
With all the splendor and wonderment of a 9am press release, the wealthy people who own…everything announced the Dodgers new TV venture officially has a name: Sportsnet LA. Hardball Talk has all the DYNAMIC verbiage associated with just such a press release but basically the cash officially starts flowing in 2014.
While it is easy to agree with the sentiments voiced by Pirates fans and their ilk, this is the same system the Yankees have operated under for going on 20 years and baseball survives. There is a nefarious side to the deal, as the Lackey points to in an earlier tweet.
The Dodgers essentially get a free pass on “sharing” a significant portion of their TV channel “revenue”, allowing them to spend well beyond the limits imposed on other teams. It is that shared revenue teams like the Pirates need to survive in a far less lucrative TV market. Without the Dodgers contributing their fair share to the league kitty, how will the Pirates and Royals squander their money on Russell Martins and Ervin Santanas? It’s a cold world indeed.
The cheers around the league offices (not to mention the players association, keenly aware of that a higher tide floats all boats) surely drowns yelps of protest from small market fans, wary that the barrier for playoff entry just took another big step in the monied direction. Unless you’re the Rays, of course. Then you can overcome the longest odds simply by complaining.