While the 2016 season will mark the beginning of Dave Roberts’ tenure as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, it’s also the end of a historic era as Vin Scully will retire after an unprecedented 67th season in the broadcast booth.
Scully’s retirement recently sparked an attempt from Time Warner Cable to reach carriage agreements for SportsNet LA with other pay-TV providers, namely AT&T/DirecTV. TWC’s first step was to offer the Dodgers’ exclusive network at a discounted rate as a sign of good faith.
However, Dish Network, DirecTV, Verizon FiOS and others, didn’t bite. TWC revised their proposal and extended a long-term offer, though still to no avail. The resistance from other providers has essentially stalled negotiations once more.
“We’ve offered short-term deals and long-term deals, we’ve lowered the price by 30 percent, we’ve asked for arbitration, we’ve offered to pay them the same thing they charge for their RSNs (Regional Sports Networks), ” TWC spokesperson Andrew Fegyveresi said in a statement to DodgerBlue.com.
“We’ve told them we’d meet them anytime, anywhere to negotiate, and nothing has worked. They’ve rejected every offer we’ve made. We don’t believe they’re interested in carrying SportsNet LA, and fans should switch to Time Warner Cable, Charter or Bright House Networks if they want to see the Dodgers.”
DirecTV also declined to enter binding arbitration with TWC last year. There was hope the merger between AT&T and DirecTV would be enough to end the impasse, but there’s been little, if any, traction made since the merger was approved by the Federal Communications Commission last July.
In October 2014, SportsNet LA aired the Dodgers’ final six games of the season on KDOC, an independent station that is carried by all providers in Southern California and can be received with an over the air antenna.
The Dodgers signed a 25-year, $8.35 billion contract with TWC in January 2013. This will mark the third season distribution of SportsNet LA will be affected by other pay-TV providers refusing to carry the network.