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Congressional bid to resolve Dodger TV standoff flubs

Posted: July 29, 2014 6:18 p.m.
Updated: July 29, 2014 6:18 p.m.

A six-member L.A. congressional delegation tried to hit one out of the park this week in the long-simmering debate over TV access to Dodger games, but the effort ran afoul of the DirecTV team.

Since January, when the Dodgers signed a 25-year, $8.35 billion TV contract with Time Warner Cable, Time Warner has been in a standoff with DirectTV and other carriers on a distribution deal. Only customers of Time Warner have been able to watch this Dodger season on TV.

Six congressional Democrats — Brad Sherman of Sherman Oaks, Janice Hahn of San Pedro, Gloria Negrete McLeod of Chino, Alan Lowenthal of Long Beach, Grace Napolitano of El Monte, and Karen Bass of Culver City — have formally requested mediation in the matter. They called for both sides to agree to binding arbitration.

Time Warner Cable was on board with the proposal, as was Dodgers President and CEO Stan Kasten.

“We’re very pleased that our partners at Time Warner Cable have readily agreed to submit SportsNet LA to binding arbitration,” Kasten said in a statement issued late Monday. “And we urge DirecTV to quickly agree so that we can get these games on the air for their customers.”

But DirecTV had ruled the deal out.

“We agree that any loyal Dodger fans deserve the opportunity to see games,” DirecTV spokesman Robert Mercer said Tuesday. “Yet not at the expense of the millions of other AT&T U-verse, Charter Communications, Cox Communications, DirecTV, Dish Network, Mediacom, Suddenlink Communications, Verizon FiOS (users) and other families who have little or no interest in paying for Time Warner Cable’s excess.”




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