Time Warner Cable took another step towards attempting to broker a deal with DirecTV in order when they stated they were willing to enter binding arbitration with the satellite company.
TWC’s offer coincided with lawmakers asking the Federal Communications Commission to intervene and help bring a resolution to the TV dispute.
DirecTV hasn’t agreed to TWC’s arbitration proposal and according to Joe Flint of the LA Times, are open to some form of third party involvement:
Satellite broadcaster DirecTV said it would be open to some sort of mediation to resolve its dispute with Time Warner Cable over carriage of SportsNet LA, the new local TV home for the Dodgers.
DirecTV Chief Executive Mike White called for the Los Angeles Dodgers to be involved in the negotiations:
Without active participation of the Dodgers I’m not sure how you get any resolution to this dispute.”
Publicly, the Dodgers haven’t commented much on the dispute. Controlling owner Mark Walter said in June he was frustrated by the situation but remained optimistic given the ongoing communication.
How willing or aggressive DirecTV will be in order to end the blackout remains to be seen. On a conference call with analysts, TWC Chief Financial Office Artie Minson said not to expect carriage deals with other providers, via Flint:
Assume we do not sign affiliate agreements for the Dodger Network this year.”
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler wrote a letter to TWC in response to the Commission being asked to get involved; TWC was receptive to the FCC’s potential involvement.
Should TWC and DirecTV enter into arbitration, TWC said DirecTV customers would immediately be granted access to SportsNet LA while negotiations were being held. After Thursday’s game, the Dodgers have 53 remaining in the regular season.
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