A battle than began in the off-season between Time Warner Cable and other cable providers has spilled into the regular season and deprived many Los Angeles Dodger fans of their team’s games.
While DISH Network has already refused to pick up SportsNet LA, the head of programming at DirecTV recently said that he believed nobody of “merit” will pick up the network soon.
According to Joe Flint of the LA Times, negotiations have ended between DirecTV and TWC:
DirecTV has advised us that they will not carry the Dodgers this year, and they have walked away from the negotiating table, said Melinda Witmer, Time Warner Cable’s executive vice president and chief video and content officer.
This news comes as a huge blow to Dodger fans in Southern California, as DirecTV has approximately 1.2 million subscribers and 30% of the market share.
However, DirecTV has denied the claim, but it came from an unnamed source via Flint:
A DirecTV spokesman countered that ‘nothing could be further from the truth’ and added that ‘fans have already seen through Time Warner Cable’s deception, and this is yet another transparent attempt to manipulate all TV customers throughout the region.’
Thus far, only Bright House Networks and Champion Broadband have cut deals to carry the channel, while Witmer said negotiations are ongoing with the other distributors. SportsNet LA debuted on February 25 and provides 24/7 Dodgers content, as well as the only place to catch the team’s games. Fans will only be able to catch games on national television, such as this coming Sunday when the game will be broadcast on ESPN.
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