For quite some time I've been of the opinion that coverage throughout Southern California would not occur until the proposed merger between Charter and Time Warner has concluded. I even went so far as to say that a strategic bankruptcy should be expected. Thankfully, I am glad to say that I appear to be wrong on all accounts.
It had been reported yesterday that Time Warner has not only lowered its asking price For SportsNet LA, but is also in the midst of negotiations with several carriers.
Just in time, eh?
Via Meg James at the LA Times:
Time Warner Cable said late Tuesday that it had cut by 30% the price of the sports channel offered to DirecTV and other pay-TV providers with the hope of spurring long-stalled negotiations over carriage of the channel before the new season begins April 4.So, Time Warner has finally decided to bite the bullet. In turn, they hope to sign up carriers at a brisk pace.
As part of the new proposal, Time Warner Cable has offered the channel to other providers at a cost of about $3.50 per month per subscriber home, according to two people familiar with the proposal who were not authorized to discuss deal terms.
The proposal fashioned by Time Warner Cable would be a one-year deal covering the upcoming season.
So far, none of the other pay-TV providers have agreed to play ball, although talks with at least two providers are in the early stages and are expected to accelerate in the next week as the new season approaches, said two knowledgeable people who asked not to be identified.Unfortunately, we are unlikely to see full coverage throughout the Southland by the start of the 2016 season. After all, we are just a couple weeks away and I can't imagine there are enough hours in the day to get this all wrapped up by then.
As for the timing, I wonder why now? They could have easily done this months ago.
Although the proposed merger that is expected to conclude mid-year looks solid from most vantage points there have been some rumblings from the California Public Utility Commission. Are they providing some pressure? Or, is this an effort to create goodwill within the Los Angeles market; as temporary as that may be (considering the report that they are seeking only a one-year contract). I dunno.
What I do know is that it's probably best not to look a gift horse in the mouth.
BTW, this morning Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti just release a statement regarding this matter, via a tweet by the Dodgers:
UPDATE: Per David Lieberman at Deadline on Yahoo: "Sorry, Dodgers Fans: TWC Strikes Out In Effort To Expand SportsNet Distribution."
But TWC says this morning that “we don’t expect any other distributors to carry SNLA by Opening Day.” Those who want to watch the Dodgers on the regional sports network “need to switch to Time Warner Cable, Charter or Bright House Networks.”Now that's the Time Warner we've all come to know and hate.
UPDATE II: Now the Commissioner's office gets involved, via a tweet:
Statement issued by Commissioner Manfred re: Time Warner Cable's proposal to resolve the LAD distribution dispute: pic.twitter.com/BjEY83OZce— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) March 23, 2016
UPDATE III: This is getting a little ridiculous. Shall I dare call this a "circle-jerk." Now Dodgers President Stan Kasten makes a statement about the above situation, via the Dodgers on twitter:
Statement from Dodgers President and CEO Stan Kasten pic.twitter.com/PQVWqqdxrN— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) March 23, 2016
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