Charter Communications and AT&T have finally reached an agreement on the latter’s carriage of regional sports network SportsNet LA, breaking an impasse that started in 2014.
The U.S. Department of Justice filed court papers on Thursday indicating that it has reached a deal with AT&T and DirecTV to resolve an antitrust lawsuit that accused the companies of sharing information during negotiations to carry SportsNet LA, the regional sports network holding the exclusive rights to telecast live Los Angeles Dodgers games in the L.A. area. The proposed deal contemplates future restrictions on what MVPDs are allowed to exchange with each other.
AT&T is negotiating a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department to resolve allegations that DirecTV executives improperly colluded with other pay-TV providers three years ago, effectively blocking carriage of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ television channel in Southern California. A settlement could come in the next two weeks.
For the fourth consecutive year, the Dodgers’ television broadcasts could go unseen by a majority of fans in the Los Angeles area. Charter Communications said Monday it does not anticipate reaching agreements with DirecTV or any other cable or satellite provider to carry the Dodgers-owned SportsNet LA channel by the time the regular season starts April 3.
AT&T has responded to a bombshell lawsuit filed by the U.S. Justice Department accusing the conglomerate’s DirecTV unit of orchestrating an illegal campaign to block wide carriage of regional sports network SportsNet LA, home of the L.A. Dodgers. “We respect the DOJ’s important role in protecting consumers, but in this case, which occurred before AT&T’s acquisition of DirecTV, we see the facts differently,” said David McAtee, AT&T general counsel.
The U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday took the extraordinary step of suing AT&T, alleging that its DirecTV unit orchestrated an illegal campaign to block wide carriage of SportsNet LA, the regional sports channel owned by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
As Vin Scully’s time in the booth winds down, Charter Communications has set a deal with Tribune’s KTLA Los Angeles to simulcast six Los Angeles Dodgers games, briefly lifting the TV blackout for local fans who don’t have access to the team’s SportsNet LA channel.
Time Warner Cable conceded Thursday that it has failed in its efforts to win broad distribution for SportsNet LA, the TV channel owned by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Time Warner Cable made several pitches this month to other pay-TV providers — including AT&T’s DirecTV and Cox Communications — hoping to entice them to sign up for the Dodgers channel in time for the baseball season, which begins Monday.
Television viewership soared for Tuesday’s Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game in the inaugural telecast for the team-owned SportsNet LA channel on Charter Communications cable systems.
Charter Communications intends to make SportsNet LA, the regional sports network that offers Los Angeles Dodgers baseball games, to its subscribers in a few weeks’ time, potentially ending a year-long showdown that has left nearly 70% of Los Angeles-vicinity TV subscribers without access to the team.
Time Warner Cable is expected to shoulder the burden of its bad deal to acquire TV rights to Los Angeles Dodgers games by writing down the value of the asset by up to $1 billion, sources say. Time Warner Cable and Dodgers fans are facing a second season of silence from West Coast TV distributors who, so far, are balking at the price for carrying Time Warner Cable’s SportsNet LA, which carries the Dodgers games exclusively.
When the Los Angeles Dodgers take the field Wednesday against the Chicago White Sox in Arizona for their first spring training game, they’ll be invisible to most TV fans back home. For a second straight year, a dispute over the subscriber fees sought by Time Warner Cable, which operates the Dodgers’ SportsNet LA, is blacking out games to more than 60% of Los Angeles-area viewers.
With much of Los Angeles unable to view Dodgers games throughout the season, Time Warner Cable on Monday said it has reached a deal with L.A. independent station KDOC to carry the final six regular season games. The Dodgers are in a race for the National League West division championship.
he impasse over rights to the Los Angeles Dodgers, which has left 70% of television viewers in the market unable to access broadcasts of the hometown baseball team’s games, indicates that there may just be a limit to the stratospheric cost of sports rights.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is now telling Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus personally that “your actions appear to have created the inability of consumers in the Los Angeles area to watch televised games of the Los Angeles Dodgers.” In a business where finger-pointing is considered the sport of kings, that’s a pretty harsh blow from an industry regulator — it’s not often that an external agency directly apportions blame, but wrangling over costs or no, Wheeler is making an example of TWC in its dispute with the SportsNet LA, the network owned by Dodgers
The 86-year-old Hall of Fame announcer will return for his record 66th season with the team in 2015. The announcement was made on the Dodger Stadium video board in the second inning of Tuesday night’s game against Atlanta. Scully’s consecutive years of service make him the longest-tenured broadcaster with one team in sports history. He calls all nine innings of the team’s home games and road games in California and Arizona for the Dodgers’ new television home on SportsNet LA, while the first three innings of his games are simulcast on the radio.
Time Warner Cable is willing to let an arbitrator determine a fair price for SportsNet LA in the hopes of resolving its dispute with DirecTV and other pay TV providers over distribution of the Dodgers-owned channel.
A group of Southern California lawmakers wants the FCC to broker a deal to end the bitter standoff between Time Warner Cable and other pay TV providers over distribution of SportsNet LA, the new channel that is home to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
About 70% of L.A.’s TV market won’t see Dodger games on SportsNet LA because pay-TV distributors are balking at the cost of carrying the new channel.
The Wall Street Journal reports that only one major pay-TV distributor has agreed to carry SportsNet LA, the new L.A. Dodgers-owned cable channel. Other distributors say the carriage fee is simply too high. WSJ subscribers can read the story here.