In a dispute that has now dragged on for more than half of the Los Angeles Dodgers 2014 season, Time Warner Cable and DirecTV appear to be within one decision towards making major progress.
Coinciding with lawmakers asking the Federal Communications Commissions become involved to bring an end to the blackout, TWC stated they’re willing to enter binding arbitration with DirecTV. As part of the arbitration, TWC would permit DirecTV to carry SportsNet LA during the negotiations.
While DirecTV has thus far rejected the arbitration offer, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler voiced his frustration in a letter to TWC Chief Executive Rob Marcus, via Joe Flint of the LA Times:
I am writing to express my strong concern about how your actions appear to have created the inability of consumers in the Los Angeles area to watch televised games of the Los Angeles Dodgers,” Wheeler wrote. “The FCC will continue to monitor this dispute closely and will intervene as appropriately necessary to bring relief to consumers.”
One TWC spokeswoman welcomes the FCC’s involvement and is hopeful the other parties involved in the dispute are also being treated in a similar manner:
A Time Warner Cable spokeswoman said the company is “grateful for the FCC’s intervention and happy to work with them to gain carriage for the Dodgers.” The spokeswoman added that Time Warner Cable hopes that Wheeler is “is making similar inquiries of DirecTV and other LA television distributors to determine their rationale for refusing to carry SportsNet LA.”
DirecTV isn’t the lone provider that’s yet to agree to terms for carriage of SportsNet LA, but it’s generally believed the other cable companies are waiting for them as the first domino to fall before moving forward with their own negotiations.
Should DirecTV and TWC come to terms through arbitration, it would only be a binding agreement for those two parties. Separate deals would need to be agreed upon with the other companies either through arbitration or private negotiations.
SportsNet LA is also currently available to Bright House Networks and Champion Broadband subscribers.
Dodgers History: MLB Facts About Clayton Kershaw’s No-Hitter