The Los Angeles Dodgers are in the second week of the 2015 regular season as more games continue to get crossed off the schedule without additional distribution agreements for Time Warner Cable’s SportsNet LA in place.
It was reported in March TWC entered negotiations with other pay-TV distributors, however there failed to be much traction generated. Aside from AT&T U-verse, Charter, DirecTV and others balking at the price for the regional sports network, the belief is talks have also been hindered by pending mergers.
After news of the Federal Communications Commission delaying their decision last month on the AT&T merger with DirecTV and Comcast’s proposed purchasing of TWC, David McLaughlin and Todd Shields of Bloomberg.com report attorneys with the Justice Department’s antitrust division will recommend against allowing Comcast to overtake TWC:
Staff attorneys at the Justice Department’s antitrust division are nearing a recommendation to block Comcast Corp.’s bid to buy Time Warner Cable Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.
Their review is expected to be submitted next week and senior officials from the antitrust division will then make their decision. While the merger being rejected would a blow to Comcast, a final decision could — in theory — pave the way for SportsNet LA deals to fall into place.
However, Comcast could just as easily fight the decision and further drag out the process in their attempt to get the deal passed. The TV impasse doesn’t appear to have had much of a negative impact on the Dodgers.
They set Spring Training attendance records this year at Camelback Ranch and reached 3 million in ticket sales just over three weeks ago, achieving the milestone at the earliest date in franchise history.
Several Dodgers executives, including part owner Magic Johnson, have expressed remorse over the lingering impasse and maintained the team is working behind the scenes to help facilitate a solution.