Ratings soar for Charter’s first Dodgers game
Television viewership soared for Tuesday’s Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game in the inaugural telecast for the team-owned TV channel on Charter Communications cable systems.
Ratings for the game on SportsNet LA more than doubled compared with this season’s average. Tuesday’s contest, in which the Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-1, generated a 1.31 household TV rating and an estimated 103,871 TV viewers. That is more than double the average viewership for SportsNet LA this year.
Before Tuesday, Dodgers games had been averaging a 0.63 household rating and an estimated 45,535 viewers a game — a smaller audience than what typically turns out for a game at Dodger Stadium.
After holding out for more than 14 months, Charter Communications agreed this month to begin offering SportsNet LA in its channel lineup.
Charter’s change in strategy came after it unveiled its nearly $57-billion deal to acquire Time Warner Cable, which until now had been the only major pay-TV operator to carry SportsNet LA. Charter was motivated to begin offering the baseball games as the company seeks to build goodwill for its proposed takeover, which would make it the largest pay-TV company in Southern California.
The Stamford, Conn., cable provider didn’t want to antagonize Southern California customers or politicians who have expressed frustration about the stalemate over distribution of SportsNet LA.
Charter’s shift represented the first break in the logjam that has prevented hundreds of thousands of homes in the region from having access to Dodgers games.
Charter serves nearly 300,000 homes in the Los Angeles region, including Long Beach, Glendale, Burbank, parts of Pasadena, Malibu, Whittier and Riverside. Charter customers were particularly hard hit by the impasse.