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Prime Ticket to show only four Dodgers spring games, down from 13

February 21, 2013|By Steve Dilbeck
  • When the Dodgers go from spring training workouts to exhibition games, only a handful will be seen on television. Above, Dodgers players take to the practice field Sunday at Camelback Ranch in Phoenix.
When the Dodgers go from spring training workouts to exhibition games,… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

Starting to get excited? The most expensive baseball team in the history of the universe is scheduled to play its first spring game Saturday.

Only you will not be able to watch it. In fact, you’ll be able to watch fewer than half as many Dodgers spring games from Arizona as you could last year.

The Dodgers’ current broadcast schedule for their 2013 games from Camelback Ranch calls for only seven games to be televised. Last spring the Dodgers had 15 games on television from Phoenix.

The fact that this is the Dodgers’ final season with Fox before moving to Time Warner is apparently playing no small part in the reduction.

A representative for Fox cited obligations the media company has to other teams signed to long-term contracts. Fox carries its Dodgers games on its Prime Ticket channel, which is also home to the Clippers and Kings. Just like they were last year.

Prime Ticket is broadcasting only four games from Phoenix this spring, after televising 13 last year. KCAL-TV Channel 9 will air three Dodgers spring games, one more than last season.

Prime Ticket is contractually obligated to televise Dodgers games during the regular season only, and apparently doesn’t see the great benefit to boosting its lame-duck product by schlepping to Arizona for 13 games.

There is some good news, however. Vin Scully, who almost did not do any spring games last preseason, will do all but one of the seven from Phoenix.

More broadcasting curiosity: When the Dodgers return home for their annual Freeway Series against the Angels, only two games will be televised. The March 28 game at Anaheim will be on Prime Ticket and the March 29 game at Dodger Stadium will be on KCAL, but the final exhibition game of the season March 30 in Anaheim will not be televised.

Radio is picking up some of the slack. Dodgers flagship station KLAC is going up to 16 games this spring after  broadcasting only eight last year. Radio Spanish-language station KTNQ will broadcast six games from Phoenix.

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