Rapper and movie star Ice Cube isn’t happy about the Dodgers’ TV carriage debacle, but Dodgers part-owner Magic Johnson think it’s just fine.
The war of words over the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the unavailability of their games to 70% of the Los Angeles region, just won’t stop. Los Angeles isn’t just the nation’s second largest city, it’s a particularly important one, as home to Hollywood and an epicenter of the movie, television, music, and sports industries. In perhaps the entertainment capital of the nation, it was only a matter of time before celebrities began to weigh in, as even some of the city’s elite have been affected as the Dodgers’ blackout drags into its second season.
Magic Johnson, former star of the Los Angeles Lakers, and current part-owner of the Dodgers, disappointed fans by showing little sense of urgency with regards to the TV carriage dispute, only insisting that as much as the team owners wanted the Dodgers to be on TV for all, that the situation “isn’t hurting them.” And from the perspective of the Dodgers ownership, he is correct. After striking a massive deal for over $8 billion with Time Warner Cable, the team is flush with cash for stadium improvements and payroll. Regardless of whether other TV providers carry the games or not, Time Warner is on the hook and the Dodgers are getting paid. Another convenient side effect for team ownership has been a spike in ticket sales, as those unable to watch the games on TV show up to the stadium instead. From the Dodgers’ corporate office, it’s easy to forget about the enraged fans, and see everything as just fine. Magic Johnson’s comments however, likely came across as rather tone-deaf to the 70% of the city that can’t watch the games.
One celebrity critic to come forward is rapper turned actor Ice Cube. After long griping about the mess via his Twitter account, the former NWA member spoke up on Conan O’Brien’s late night show. Echoing the sentiments of many Los Angeles residents, Ice Cube warned of his intentions to “kick somebody’s ass,” likely referring to execs of the area cable providers who can’t seem to come to an agreement. Channeling public anger over the lack of Dodgers games on TV, Ice Cube warned that the Dodgers risked losing an entire generation of fans. After such a prolonged blackout, some likely won’t bother to come back to the team, even if the games do end up back on the air.