Congressman Calls For Binding Arbitration To End SportsNet LA Impasse

Matthew Moreno-Dodgers Nation
Matthew Moreno-Dodgers Nation

After an agreement was reached for Charter Communications to purchase Time Warner Cable, Charter customers are now just one day away from being able to view SportsNet LA, the 24/7 network dedicated to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

SportsNet LA will be available on Charter Spectrum TV Select, Charter’s most widely subscribed tier of service. The channel listings are as follows, 44 SD/ 789 HD in Los Angeles, 44 SD/773 HD in San Luis Obispo, and 44 SD in Porterville. While it’s a step forward in ongoing the impasse between TWC and other pay-TV providers, more work lies ahead.

In the wake of Charter becoming the latest to add SportsNet LA to their programming, Congressman Brad Sherman again called for TWC to enter into binding arbitration with DirecTV and others, via J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News:

I am pleased that Charter Communications will begin carrying SportNet LA, but the work is not done yet. Too many Angelenos still won’t have access to the Dodgers because of a 14 month dispute between cable companies over how to provide Los Angeles residents with access to Los Angeles Dodgers television broadcasts. I am reissuing an earlier request for Time Warner Cable into enter binding arbitration with DirecTV and others. This would be a fair and fast way to return programming to consumers. Time Warner Cable has agreed to enter into the arbitration process. They have offered to make SportsNet LA available immediately to all fans upon the initiation of binding arbitration. Immediate binding arbitration is the only mechanism that will get the Dodgers games on the air now.”

Sherman previously (August 2014) outlined what arbitration would entail in a letter he wrote to DirecTV and TWC. His letter was sent roughly one week after TWC publicly stated they were willing to enter into binding arbitration with DirecTV.

Had DirecTV accepted, their customers would have been granted immediate viewership to SportsNet LA while the arbitration process played. The satellite-TV provider declined, and there’s been little to report on since. It’s believed and hoped, the pending merger between AT&T and DirecTV will help unlock the stalemate that’s now in its second baseball season.

The Dodgers have been on national TV three times this season, most recently for ESPN’s weekly Sunday Night Baseball telecast. The Dodgers will again be featured in the Sunday night game on June 21 when they host the San Francisco Giants in the finale of a three-game set.


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