End of Comcast-TWC merger could continue Dodgers' TV blackout

Friday April 24th, 2015

Comcast's decision to end a $45 billion takeover bid for Time Warner Cable could result in the Los Angeles Dodgers' television blackout being extended, according to the Los Angeles Times

Most homes in the Los Angeles market were unable to watch Dodgers games on TV last season due to a continuing dispute over rights fees being asked by Time Warner Cable, and the blackout could stretch to two seasons now that the merger fell through. 

"Unless Time Warner does what it should have done when it found out it was overpriced—bite the bullet and write off a big chunk of what it paid the Dodgers—it is unlikely Dodgers fans will have carriage this year," Marc Ganis, president of the consulting firm Sportscorp Ltd, told the Times

Time Warner Cable operates the Dodgers' SportsNet LA channel, which airs the games. The dispute has been over the monthly per-subscriber fee of almost $5 per month that is being demanded from cable distributors to carry the channel.

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The team has a 25-year deal with Time Warner Cable that gives the company exclusive rights. A source told the Times that the Dodgers thought they were going to be "bailed out" by the now-failed Comcast deal. 

"That creates uncertainty for a while," Ed Desser, president of Desser Sports Media, told the Times. "Uncertainty is not helpful in terms of resolving this."

- Molly Geary

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