Sunday, January 24, 2021

CABLE, SATELLITE COMPANIES REJECT DODGERS DEAL

July 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

After agreeing to pay $8.35 billion to carry the Los Angeles Dodgers for the next 25 years, Time Warner Cable may now be experiencing buyer’s remorse. As the second half of the season begins today (Friday) following the All Star break, TWC remains deadlocked in negotiations with all other satellite and cable operators in Southern California, who have refused to agree to TWC’s pricetag to carry the games. And, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, David Rone, president of Time Warner Cable Sports, has conceded, "It is unlikely that we are going to get a deal done." The result is that although the Dodgers are in first place and pitcher Clayton Kershaw has become a national sports star, most Southern Californians are unable to watch the games, and were unable to see Kershaw’s no-hitter last month. (Time Warner Cable subscribers account for only one third of the Southern California market.) In local advertisements, TWC is denying DirecTV’s claims that it wants $5.00 per month from every cable and satellite subscriber as its price for the Dodgers’ SportsNet LA. (The Times reported that the figure is actually $4.00), but some analysts have observed that cable-TV costs have already reached the breaking point — and that any significant increase will likely encourage non-sports fans to "cut the cord." Indeed, some Dodgers fans have already discovered that they can watch the games by setting up a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which fools the system into thinking that the user is in a different city, and subscribing to MLB.TV. The result of the current stand-off could affect cable companies’ renegotiations for sports rights in the future, analysts have concluded. Andy Albert, senior vice president of content acquisition for Cox Communications, told the Times that his company wants to offer the network on an a la carte basis to Dodgers fans only. "To burden all of our customers with the high cost of this network is not what the majority of our subscribers want," he said.