Time Warner Cable, DirecTV At Odds Over Dodgers Channel

Time Warner Cable, DirecTV Odds Over

70% of L.A. households still in the dark as TV providers clash over sports network

Baseball season has barely gotten underway, but Dodgers fans who subscribe to DirecTV may already be out of luck this season.

Time Warner Cable has revealed that the company is no longer in negotiations with DirecTV to carry the Dodgers-owned SportsNet LA channel, meaning roughly 70 percent of L.A. households will be left without access to the team’s baseball games.

A Time Warner rep confirmed the news Thursday evening, saying “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.”

But DirecTV contended their statement, saying “nothing could be further from the truth.”

A spokesman for the satellite TV provider told Variety they intended to continue to engage with Time Warner Cable and called the move “another transparent attempt to manipulate all TV customers throughout the region.”

“We just didn’t agree to accept their latest outrageous proposal,” the spokesperson added.

DirecTV has previously cited Time Warner’s price as a bone of contention, while TWC asserts that its price is reasonable.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, who carry the most expensive payroll in Major League Baseball, previously offered their games on Fox’s Prime Ticket channel as well as the CBS-owned local station KCAL-TV before the team’s new ownership, which includes former L.A. Laker Magic Johnson, signed a monster $8.35 billion deal last year for the private sports network.

But the cash windfall for the team, predicted to top the N.L. West this season, has so far left most of its fan base in the dark.

Melinda Witmer, Time Warner’s exec VP and chief video and content officer told the L.A. Times Thursday “Given the very aggressive and unprecedented terms they (DirecTV) put forward, it seems they are very uninterested in carrying the Dodgers,” adding that DirecTV customers were eager to switch cable providers.

“The phones are ringing off the hook,” she claimed.

According to Nielsen reports, the lack of distribution has also affected ratings for the first few Dodgers games. Their April 1 and 2 matchups against the San Diego Padres averaged just 37,000 viewers.

In an ironic twist, the Dodgers’ longtime play-by-play announcer Vin Scully revealed that he, too, could not watch the games. Why? He’s a DirecTV subscriber.

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  1. Ruben Carrasco says:

    Please,Time Warner and the Dodger owners must find a way to have at least this last year be shown to the loyal fans.It would be Heart warming to Vince Sculley and all the fans to see this season,on Vinny’s last year. Some how meet half way,i’m sure the fans would be glad to pay something to watch at least one last season of the Dodgers and the best sports broadcaster in the world. Please have a Heart.

  2. The Dodgers traded their lifelong loyal fans for Ca$h to Time Warner, clearly money is more important. If it really is the Dodgers station then they can do something. 2014 Dodgers have shown they can beat the Diamondbacks and their fans, but thats all
    .

  3. Jesse Munoz III says:

    I’ve been a dodgers fan my whole 38 years of life, my family has been dodgers fans their whole lives, my grandfather’s first home he purchased was where dodgers stadium now rests in Chavez Ravine and now I can’t watch my dodgers unless I go to a bar or a friend’s house that has time warner!?!?!! Isn’t there certain rules out there regulated by the FCC or something that prevents monopolization of any one market, kind of like the banks and utilities. Is time warner in such financial trouble that not only are they attempting a merger with Comcast but they intend on taking any dodgers fans that don’t submit to their cable dictatorship to burn in flames without their beloved dodgers ballgames?!?!?! I subscribe to MLB Ticket for all my dodgers games, which by the way is quite a pretty penny, and even though I pay all this hard earned cash I still get my games blacked out ……… on MLB Ticket!!!!!! Now instead I get Arizona Diamondback games….. I don’t even like Phoenix for vacation let alone their crappy baseball team. So I guess the only way to enjoy this season is to buy more tickets or root for another team….. Can you say betrayed and left to die alone…..thanks Magic Johnson I guess if we want a championship again we got to get rid of the fans that have supported our team during all the bad years. Oh and by the way, way to sell us out, you know the city that loves you no matter what and this is how you decided to show your appreciation, by taking away the one thing that even in the most dire of economic circumstances, allowed all economic classes to just sit back and cheer for the home team and forget about the troubles of the day, just like the 7th inning stretch sings to us at every game across the nation. Guess that dream is for sale from time warner now too…..at a substantial price and profit of course.
    Sincerely, A Lifetime Dodgers Fan

  4. @Jorge…they’re in San Diego :)

  5. Thanks Directv! Stay strong on this one. TW clearly overpaid for the tv rights (as did the owners for the Dodger team). How on earth does one explain the cost jumping from $50M in 2013 to $210M in 2014??? If Dodger tickets prices were $35 in 2013 how many tickets will they sell in 2014 at $147?
    Im sure the Dodgers and TW just expected to pass the buck along to the fools below. Always worked before, huh. Thanks again Dan York at Directv! Every missed game OUR side gets stronger.

    • Jorge says:

      Completely agree with you. I’ve been a hardcore Dodger fan for the past 40 years but the new Dodgers management is doing its best to make a whole lot of us start liking the Angels. Where are the O’malleys when you need them?

  6. rudy says:

    BAD INVESTMENT, SPORTS NETWORK IS 15.00 TO WHATEVER YOUR MOVIE PKG IS, I BELEIVE TO SEE DODGERS IS 5.00 A MONTH SO 10.00 WOULD BE TROWN AWAY IF YOU DONT SEE OTHER SPORTS, NOT GOOD SENCE IF YOU CAN ADD AND SUBRACT.

  7. John says:

    I want to watch the dodgers on direc tv. Is everybody so money hungry that they can’t work this out. Well I guess I will have to go back to the 50 and listen to the games on radio. Shame on the BIG BUCK DEALERS come on let the little guys who make all your money see the game.

  8. Joyce Reynolds says:

    I think this deal stincks. I have been with Direct tv for many years and went to school withe Don Drsdale so i have been a Dodger fan forever. Somebody had better wake up soon. JR

  9. Carol says:

    Good for you DirecTV. I am a Dodger fan and miss seeing the games but do not want to pay for TWC’s over-priced deal with the Dodgers. Sure won’t be switching to TWC and don’t believe the phones are “ringing off the hook” at TWC.

  10. Tom says:

    I changed to Charter from Dish hoping for Lakers and LAD . Am very disappointed and upset. This really Stinks!! 😡

  11. joseph says:

    The red zone if free on time Warner fyi….

  12. This is a ploy to try and get direct tv subscribers to switch to time Warner, not me! I will never leave direct as long as they continue to carry the nfl football package!

  13. octagoncito says:

    As usual, the Fans ant the subscribers lose. i really don;t want to leave DTV but for my boys in blue i will make the move if need be. Tw is an inferior product however and Vin Scully won;t be around much longer, we can’t throw away vinny like this! come on DTV sign the deal!

  14. kenny b says:

    this is petty get the deal done.im with att uverse. so what ever direct tv does everyone will follow just like the laker deal a year ago!!!!

  15. Andrew says:

    I really cant stand TWC – And I will those HIDIOUS commercials would disappear, I cant stand them at all.

  16. Fred Rosen says:

    Now is the time to test out the value of streaming—If I were Time-Warner, I would make it available on a streaming basis at $15 per month or $79.95 for the season (less than $.50 per game). Streaming is clearly an acceptable delivery system–(as per Netflix)—-they could make a deal with any of the internet platforms—and the people who want it would pay for it.
    The future of cable is going to be ala-carte anyway—so only pay for what you want. Makes sense to me–then all Dodger fans have access and life goes on.

    • Jim says:

      In you model, the money doesn’t come close to what they are making now. Let’s do the math Fred. TWC is demanding $4.50 according to the LA Times for over 90% of DIRECTV local subscribers, over 1 million of them in L.A. Basically anyone that takes their Choice package and above. The reality is that only about 25% care that much about the Dodgers, especially at that rate. Which means, the $15 per month you want isn’t going to cut it. You would need to charge more like $20 a month from those 25%. How many people are going to spend $20 a month to watch just the Dodgers, have to deal with buffering issues, get better broadband speeds, watch on a smaller screen. A la carte isn’t happening anytime soon, because Disney, Viacom, Newscorp, CBS and others have no interest in going down that path. They earn way too much money by forcing television providers to carry their channels and forcing them on people that don’t want them. A la carte is a killer for those channels

  17. v faz says:

    DirecTV is totally in the right here and I hope they stay strong. Time Warner made another terrible business decision and overpaid for the Dodgers by about 6 billion dollars. Their attempt to make up for it is to pass the cost on to other providers customers. Most of which have no interest in the Dodgers. Meanwhile, Time Warner is 14th out of 15 in customer satisfaction. I know literally 0 people who would be willing to take on Time Warner’s garbage service just to get baseball games. I’d like to see some numbers to back up their claim of the phone “ringing off the hook.”

  18. TKLBC says:

    I really hope that Direct TV holds the line against the Dodgers. I have no problem with the games being offered ALA Carte to Dodger fans, But I have a Huge problem paying to help Dodger fans watch their team. Make no mistake about it TMC made a huge miscalculation and a horrible deal and now they must live with it. I have no desire either to pay for the recent stadium improvements or (even though I think he is a great guy) Clayton Kershaw’s contract. Keep up the good work.

  19. joe dokes says:

    Good for DirecTV !
    The vast majority of subscribers could care less about the Dodgers !

    • Mac says:

      You, dumbass, would be incorrect in saying that.

      • Ruben Carrasco says:

        Really? The vast majority? That’s why so many people are complaining about not being able to see the Dodgers on TV? Well could have fooled me. And people that do pay to go see the Dodgers play,they don’t care? Well some don’t, i’ve seen too many games on TV where people are sitting and playing with the phones instead of watching the game and cheering the Dodgers on. But they are paying the money.If they can do that just to play with their phones then they can pay a few bucks to watch them on TV. But really,does anybody really think Time Warner or anyone from the Dodgers head Office is seeing any of this stuff we write about? I would like to find out,Hear/see a reply from one of them or all of them. I won’t hold my breath.

      • joe dokes says:

        Come back when you know what you’re talking about.
        As for the “dumbass” crack, take a look in the mirror to find the real one.

  20. Susan Kitchen says:

    Greed and corporate mismanagement are the name of THE game today, so what else is news? Fleece the people for the sake of pulling power plays is no longer anything but the norm: hashtag Ford!

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