A group of local U.S. representatives wants the Federal Communications Commission to help end Time Warner Cable's blackout of Dodger games for competing cable and satellite providers.
Negotiations to bring the team's games to AT&T U-verse, Charter Communications, Cox Communications, DirecTV, Dish Network, Mediacom, Suddenlink Communications and Verizon FIOS have gotten nowhere, and half the season is over, says U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas of the San Fernando Valley.
He blames the matter on a disagreement over …
… “carriage fees” that those outside providers would have to pay for broadcast rights controlled by TWC. In other words, this is about money (of course).
Claims have been made that TWC wants other providers to give it $5 per subscriber in order to carry the Dodgers. In a series of advertisements TWC denies that figure, but it doesn't say what the more correct number would be.
Cardenas wrote a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler that says “mediation by the FCC is necessary.” The document was cosigned by fellow U.S. Representatives Lucille Roybal-Allard, Judy Chu, Brad Sherman, Alan Lowenthal, Linda Sanchez, Janice Hahn and Julia Brownley:
We have concerns that the current dispute may set a precedent for vertically integrated companies to hold the consumer hostage to assert unfair market dominance.
… The tradition of the Los Angeles Dodgers accompanied by the iconic voice of Vin Scully remains a pastime that families across Los Angeles eagerly anticipate every baseball season. Unfortunately, we are at the midpoint in the season and thousands of baseball fans remain in the dark.
Having your government representatives try to persuade corporations to do what's in the best interest of the people who allow them to prosper in this great land sounds far-fetched these days. But godspeed.