L.A. baseball fans could be in for another blue bummer this year.
Far from being resolved in the offseason, the dispute that’s kept Dodgers games out of about 70 percent of the region’s homes has become increasingly tangled.
Dodgers Chairman Mark Walter says there have been no new negotiations to end the pricing tiff between Time Warner Cable and other TV providers. Time Warner owns the Dodgers channel, which is called SportsNet L.A.
The impasse has become more complicated for reasons that have nothing to do with baseball. Time Warner is awaiting government approval for a merger with Comcast. At the same time, AT&T is trying to merge with DirecTV.
The Federal Communications Commission is supposed to rule on the Time Warner-Concast deal by the end of March – a week before the new baseball season starts. But the FCC has already delayed the process and there’s no guarantee that it won’t again. Meanwhile, federal law doesn’t allow a company to involve itself in the business of a merger partner before the merger is approved.
Time Warner is reportedly asking about $4.50 per subscriber for SportNet L.A., which would make it one of the most expensive non-premium channels. DirecTV, for one, says its opposition to that price hasn’t changed.