The Los Angeles Dodgers are in the final stretch of their regular-season games and with it draws the end of a season that’s been played amid a TV dispute.
Time Warner Cable’s SportsNet LA, a station dedicated to the Dodgers, has yet to be picked up by AT&T U-verse, Charter Communications, DirecTV and a slew of other cable providers. Prior to the season beginning, TWC came to terms with Bright House Networks and Champion Broadband for SportsNet LA distribution rights.
TWC stated they were willing to enter into binding arbitration with DirecTV, however the satellite company never acted on the invitation.
The Federal Communications Commission twice was asked to get involved, but a resolution hasn’t been reached. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig was on hand at Dodger Stadium Friday in a visit that included presenting Vin Scully with the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award.
During the media session, Selig discussed the TV standoff, and credited the Dodgers for working towards a solution and the fans for their unwavering support, via Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
I know how hard the Dodgers have tried (to resolve the situation) and continue to,” Selig said. “What’s remarkable to me is their stunning attendance given the lack of television. I understand the synergism there. … It’s a great testament to the fans and the great market here. But we need to get this resolved.”
The Dodgers lead the Majors in attendance this season and are one of just two teams who have surpassed the 3 million mark; they also led in attendance last season when Chavez Ravine drew over 3.7 million fans.
Selig also said the Commissioner’s office has been involved in attempting to reach a resolution, but declined to offer specifics:
I’d rather keep that between us and the parties,” he said. “A public discussion at this point is not fruitful. And we will continue to do that.”
The Dodgers have 21 regular season games remaining and should they reach the postseason, all the games would be nationally broadcast. While a difference of opinions and interests has kept the parties involved from agreeing on deals, it’s difficult to envision a second season (2015) being lost.
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