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Lawmakers Ask FCC To Aid In SportsNet LA Dispute

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UPDATE (July 28, 6:30 p.m.): Time Warner Cable issued a statement that they are willing to enter into binding arbitration, via J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News Group:

With TWC and DirecTV unable to agree to terms through their own negotiations, this proposal would allow for a third party to become involved in helping facilitate an agreement.

However, if an agreement were to be reached through arbitration, it would only have an immediate impact on DirecTV customers. Separate arbitration agreements would be required with other providers or for agreements to be reached in private negotiations.
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Clayton Kershaw’s no-hitter, the Los Angeles Dodgers rise to first place in the National League West and an All-Star season from Dee Gordon have been missed by much of Los Angeles due to the ongoing dispute over Time Warner Cable’s SportsNet LA.

As the Dodgers’ season has wore on, TWC and several other cable distributors have been unable to come to terms on carriage agreements. Along with TWC subscribers, Bright House Networks and Champion Broadband customers currently have access to SportsNet LA.

According to Joe Flint of the LA Times, lawmakers have asked the Federal Communications Commission to aid in orchestrating agreements:

A group of Southern California lawmakers wants the Federal Communications Commission to broker a deal to end the bitter standoff between Time Warner Cable and other pay-TV providers over distribution of SportsNet LA, the new channel that is home to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Congressman Tony Cárdenas wrote to the FCC to express his concern over a precent potentially being set:

In the letter, Cárdenas wrote that there are “concerns that the current dispute may set a precedent for vertically integrated companies to hold the consumer hostage to assert unfair market dominance.” The FCC, the letter said, “must ensure that we have a competitive market and no one company has an unfair advantage at the expense of consumers.”

While DirecTV isn’t the lone provider that has yet to come to terms with TWC, they are viewed as the first domino that needs to fall before AT&T U-verse, Charter and others, follow suit.

SportsNet LA recently placed an advertisement in the LA Times attempting to set the record straight with their reported demands. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti commented on the situation in April and asked that the parties involved resolve the dispute, but his plea appeared to do little in talks progressing.

Controlling owner Mark Walter voiced his frustration in mid-June with the situation and the team was working towards reaching a resolution. The Dodgers have 56 regular season games remaining on their schedule.

Once postseason play begins, games will be broadcast nationally across various stations.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________Dodgers History: MLB Facts About Clayton Kershaw’s No-Hitter


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