Monday, January 04, 2016

A Brief Time Warner/SportsNet LA Update

Delays!  Delays!  Delays!

A large number of Dodger fans continue to be without SportsNet LA on television, and a solution to the problem does not appear to be at hand.

In fact, delays to the merger between Time Warner (parent of SportsNet LA) and Charter continue to spoil any chance that fans throughout the Southland will be able enjoy Vin Scully's last season.  Regulatory reviews of the merger continue to get pushed back, via Gerry Smith at Bloomberg Business; "Charter Merger With Time Warner Cable Delayed at FCC."
U.S. officials need more time to examine recent filings on the deal’s potential impact to the distribution of Time Warner Cable’s regional sports networks and Charter’s residential pricing and packaging methods, among other things, the Federal Communications Commission said in a letter Monday to the companies posted on its website.

The 15-day pause, which will conclude on Jan. 20, “will contribute to a more efficient and expeditious review of the proposed transaction,” the commission said.
Considering this, a merger is not likely to happen before the start of the season.  And without the merger, I suspect there's no solution to the SportsNet LA situation. 

Of course, this is likely all moot since it was announced several weeks ago that state regulators in California may be pushing back their approvals to as far back as June 2016 (via Reinhardt Krause at IBD).  So, we might realistically be looking at a mid-summer decision on the merger, and a potential delay until then before we see the Dodgers in everybody's homes. Still, it would have been nice to get FCC approval as soon as possible.

Now, everybody is in delay mode.

And that delay means less Vin Scully for Dodgers fans.

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