As fans wonder when they’ll be able to consistently watch the Dodgers on television, DirecTV is ready to counter the previously filed lawsuit which said it conspired with other stations to isolate the market for Dodgers games.
DirecTV referred to Time Warner Cable’s asking price for games as “exorbitant.” In response to the Justice Department’s lawsuit, DirecTV said it declined to pay for the Time Warner Cable Dodgers network because it was “burned” in overpaying for Lakers games.
The lawsuit, of course, alludes to collusion for a competitive advantage. The Justice Department’s belief is DirecTV’s underwhelming Lakers deal has driven it to “boycott” SportsNetLA, according to Bloomberg.
“DirecTV maintains the steep cost of the SportsNet LA is why it isn’t widely distributed, saying Time Warner Cable set a dramatically higher price for the Dodgers channel — about $5 per subscriber — because it paid an “extravagant” price for local broadcast rights: $8.3 billion over 25 years. SportsNet LA is owned jointly by the Dodgers and Time Warner Cable.”
Some Dodger fans have faced these restrictions since 2014. Charter Communications Inc., which owns Time Warner, said in a statement there will be no additional carriers of Dodgers games for the 2017 season, per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.
Just in from Charter: "We don’t expect any other distributors to carry SNLA by Opening Day." #dodgers
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) February 13, 2017
A hearing is scheduled for March 13 to determine if the lawsuit will advance.