DirecTV subscribers apparently will not be watching any Dodgers games in the near future. Talks have broken down with the satellite TV provider and Time Warner Cable, which handles distribution of the MLB team’s new SportsNet LA channel, according to TWC.
Maureen Huff, Time Warner Cable vice president of public relations, told Deadline, “We can confirm that DirecTV has left the negotiating table. We were advised by their negotiating team that they would not counter our last proposal and that conversations were at an end. We are eager for all consumers in the Dodgers footprint to have access to SNLA and we hope that other providers will come on board quickly so that the frustrated DirecTV consumers have alternative options throughout the region. We will continue to work tirelessly to make that happen. And, in the event that DirecTV would like to re-engage discussions, we stand at the ready to do so 24×7”.
But Darris Gringeri, DirecTV’s vice president of public relations responded, “Nothing could be further from the truth” in regards to the satellite TV provider leaving the bargaining table. “Fans have already seen through Time Warner Cable’s deception and this is yet another transparent attempt to manipulate all TV customers throughout the region. We do intend to keep working to resolve this in the fan’s favor, we just didn’t agree to accept their latest outrageous proposal. We will continue to engage with them until this gets resolved.”
Huff further added, “DirecTV has proposed carrying SportsNet LA a la carte but they do not offer their channels a la carte to consumers and do not allow any pay TV provider to offer the DirecTV sports channels a la carte. They also want the ability to drop the Dodgers anytime the team isn’t playing well. Under the ‘fair weather fan’ standards they want to impose on the Dodgers, the Mariners, Pirates and Rockies should have been dropped by DirecTV and other providers years ago, but DirecTV wants a double standard – one for the RSNs they own and another for SNLA”.
DirecTV has close to a 30% share of the Los Angeles market, counting 1.2 million-plus subscribers. Roughly 70% of LA remains without SportsNet LA, which launched back in February. Sources say that Time Warner Cable is seeking approximately $4 a subscriber for the first year of the contract, a lofty ask, though on par with what the cable provider pays to carry the Fox-owned New York Yankees YES baseball channel.
SportsNet LA, which was announced in January 2013, was born out of the 25-year multibillion-dollar deal Time Warner Cable inked with the Dodgers for broadcast rights.