Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Proposed Comcast-Time Warner Merger is Dying

As many of you know, the Dodgers television channel SportsNet LA currently reaches only about 30% of homes, and expanding that footprint was dependent on a successful merger between Comcast and Time Warner.  Well, based upon new reports this evening that merger appears to be headed south.  That is, it is very likely dead in the water.  Per a Reuters report:
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission's staff has recommended that the agency designate Comcast Corp's proposed $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable Inc for a hearing, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The recommendation, which would, in effect, put the merger in the hands of an administrative law judge, would be seen as a strong sign the FCC does not believe the deal is in the public interest, the Journal reported.
The Wall Street Jounal report includes several regulatory experts calling the hearing a deal-killer.

Earlier today both Comcast and Time Warner sat down with both the Department of Justice and the FCC to address their concerns and save the merger.  From the looks of it, those meetings have done little to change anything.

What does this mean for SportsNet LA?

Without a merger the other 70% of LA area households are not likely to get the channel any time soon.  How they will change this is entirely up in the air now. 

More to come as information comes out.

BTW, you should check out Chris Erskine's article at the LA Times about a work-around for fans who cannot watch, but want to.  Go here.

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