UPDATE (July 24, 11:35 a.m. PT): According to Meg James of the LA Times, the Federal Communications Commission approved AT&T’s purchase of DirecTV:
FCC just approved AT&T's $49-billion take over of DirecTV. Getting this nod was the final hurdle for AT&T to acquire the satellite giant.
— Meg James (@MegJamesLAT) July 24, 2015
The Los Angeles Dodgers are the two-time reigning National League West champions, and with a record of 53-42 this season they hold a 2.5-game lead over the San Francisco Giants in the division heading into play Wednesday.
While the Dodgers have certainly had plenty of on-field success over the two years, there’s been a cloud hovering as Time Warner Cable has had difficulty in getting providers to add SportsNet LA, the Dodgers’ all-access network, to their programing.
The recent transaction of Charter Communications buying out TWC was a step in the right direction and came with hope DirecTV, Dish Network and others would end their holdout.
With one major acquisition in the process of being fully completed, AT&T’s purchase of DirecTV is expected to receive federal approval, according to Thomas Gryta of the Wall Street Journal:
Federal regulators are poised to approve AT&T Inc.’s $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV, ending a review process that lasted more than 12 months and clearing the way for the biggest media deal of the past year.
Many analysts maintained once the two mergers (AT&T/DirecTV and Charter/Time Warner) were completed, distribution of SportsNet LA throughout Los Angeles would invariably improve. Dodgers chairman and controlling owner Mark Walter said recently he believed the final pending merger would pave the way for carriage deals being agreed upon.
Part owner Magic Johnson caused a mimi stir in April when he said the Dodgers’ brand hasn’t been hurt by the lucrative TV deal with Time Warner. The Dodgers are also selling tickets at a record pace, exceeding three million tickets sold before Opening Day, the earliest in the franchise’s history.