LOS ANGELES -- It will be all Dodgers, all the time on SportsNet LA, the new local television home of the franchise, which will launch Feb. 25, on the eve of the club's first Spring Training game.
It was the promise of a new broadcasting rights deal that set in motion the eventual sale of the club in 2013 to Guggenheim Baseball Partners, who quickly parlayed their $2.15 billion purchase into an $8 billion rights deal. SportsNet LA is the freshly minted result, a regional sports network owned by the Dodgers, with Time Warner Cable the charter distributor.
With legendary broadcaster Vin Scully in the booth for his 65th season as the iconic cornerstone, the refurbished broadcasting team now features former players Orel Hershiser, Nomar Garciaparra and Jerry Hairston, along with returning play-by-play man Charley Steiner, in-game reporter Alanna Rizzo and studio anchor John Hartung.
"We're so excited to launch SportsNet LA and give Dodger fans all of the in-depth coverage and programming that they have been asking for for years," said Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten in a team release. "Building off of this past season's momentum, we have so much planned for the 2014 season and beyond. We can't wait to share the excitement with our fans through SportsNet LA and showcase all that this great franchise has to offer."
In addition to live games and pregame and postgame shows, SportsNetLA will offer unprecedented round-the-clock Dodgers programming that includes classic games, live studio shows and original programs.
Scully will call all Dodgers' home games, plus road games in California and Arizona. Steiner and Hershiser will call all games that Scully does not. Hershiser, who won a World Series, National League Cy Young Award, and two postseason MVP Awards during his 13 seasons with the Dodgers, will serve as the color analyst alongside Steiner and appear in the network's pregame and postgame shows during other games. Garciaparra and Hairston will contribute to SportsNet LA's pregame and postgame coverage, both live from the stadium and from the SportsNet LA studio.
Hershiser joins SportsNet LA after eight years at ESPN as an analyst on "Sunday Night Baseball" games and "Baseball Tonight." Steiner enters his 10th season calling play-by-play for Dodger games, with the previous nine spent with the Dodgers' radio partner. He was recently inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame and has won several Emmy Awards for his previous work with ESPN, PRIME TICKET and the YES Network.
Garciaparra, a Los Angeles native and former Dodgers player, arrives from ESPN after four years as an analyst. He will also call Dodger road games on the radio alongside Rick Monday. Hairston just retired after playing the past two years for the Dodgers, but he has appeared as a player/analyst on ESPN and MLB Network.
Rizzo will serve as SportsNet LA's in-game reporter for games called by Steiner and Hershiser and will also host the pregame and postgame shows from the stadium. She spent the past two seasons at MLB Network hosting "Intentional Talk" and "Quick Pitch," and she also previously worked at Root Sports Rocky Mountain. Hartung will be a studio host for SportsNet LA, anchoring the network's live studio shows. He joins the network from KABC-TV in Los Angeles, where he spent the past 11 years as a sports and news anchor.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com.