Fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers are looking at a second straight season of being shut out from watching their team on TV because of a continuing dispute over rights fees being asked by Time Warner Cable, reports Bloomberg Business.
Time Warner Cable operates the Dodgers’ SportsNet LA channel, and the monthly per-subscriber fee of more than $4 per month that is being demanded from Los Angeles pay TV customers is again blacking out games for 60 percent of Los Angeles-Area viewers.
[daily_cut.mlb]Charter Communications, one of the area’s major cable providers, is refusing to pay the fee to Time Warner Cable, as are satellite TV providers DirecTV and Dish Network.
Time Warner Cable is the No. 1 cable service in Los Angeles and has a 25-year agreement with Guggenheim Partners, the owners of the Dodgers, to be the distributor of the Dodgers’ SportsNet LA and is pressing other pay-TV providers for the subscriber fees.
That’s a higher per-subscriber fee than the New York Yankees charge for the YES Network.
Verizon Communications, AT&T’s U-verse and Cox Communications have also refused to pay the fee, so only Time Warner Cable subscribers, along with those serviced by the tiny Bright House Networks, can see Dodgers games legally in the Los Angeles area.
The region’s other team, the Los Angeles Angels, is carried locally by 21st Century Fox and available on all of the pay-TV services in the area.
Time Warner Cable, which is being purchased by Comcast, said it is pursuing talks with the other providers.
The Dodgers open the regular season April 6 against the San Diego Padres.