With 30 regular-season games remaining for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the fact of the matter remains Charter Communications, DirecTV, and several other cable providers have yet to come to terms with Time Warner Cable for broadcast rights to SportsNet LA.
A group of Congressmen asked the Federal Communications Commission to become involved and their response included a statement they would monitor the situation and intervene if they deemed it necessary.
According to Meg James of the LA Times, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti wrote to the FCC, asking they review the situation:
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is asking federal regulators to examine the stalemate between Time Warner Cable and other pay-TV operators that’s prevented much of the region from watching Dodgers baseball this season.
In the letter, Garcetti outlines the history and importance of Dodgers games:
The Dodgers are a key part of the fabric of this City, and Dodgers games with the legendary Vin Scully in the broadcast booth have traditionally been available to viewers throughout this region at no extra charge,” Garcetti wrote in the letter to the FCC. “That is not true this year.”
Comcast has a proposed deal to purchase TWC that is currently pending the FCC’s approval. Garcetti also asked the FCC to investigate whether the merger would aid the issue or cause more problems:
But the mayor did ask the FCC to delve into programming disputes and “determine why the problem has not been resolved already, and then ask Comcast to show that the merger would alleviate, and not exacerbate, problems of this sort.”
This is now the second time Garcetti has become involved with the TV dispute. The first was with comments that he hoped a resolution would be reached, which came back in April.
Controlling owner Mark Walter expressed optimism in June that deals would be struck with other providers, but the Dodgers have otherwise been quiet on the matter. While other providers have held out, TWC agreed to terms in the early stages the season with Bright House Networks and Champion Broadband.
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