Viewing the home team on television on any given day may not be a Constitutional right--as Philadelphia sports fans with satellite service have known for years--but it is a potential political football.
Los Angeles fans want to watch their Dodgers play baseball, and they don't necessarily want to switch service providers to Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) to do so. The city's mayor took advantage of the presence of The Cable Show in the City of Angels to put across that point during a keynote address.
"I'm calling on all participants to resolve this so we can get our hometown Dodgers," Mayor Eric Garcetti said, according to a story in Deadline. "We love the Dodgers and we love Time Warner."
Garcetti conceded that his office cannot legally do anything to resolve the matter which could come down to which one the city's residents love the most--the Dodgers or Time Warner Cable, which is enmeshed in one of the more public sports carriage disputes in recent times. The MSO's local channel SportsNet LA bought the rights to televise the games for a reported $8.35 billion and is, according to most reports, playing hardball when it comes to selling the broadcasts to competitors.
The cable company, meanwhile, hasn't done anything to endear itself to fans. In fact, it's reportedly become more aggressive about urging non-TWC subscribers to join the cable fold with an advertisement that suggests non-subscribers should "switch today and never miss a game."
Analysts and other listeners on hold during the MSO's recent first quarter earnings call were also bombarded with messages about the value of a TWC subscribership to view Los Angeles sports.
"Los Angeles sports fans are growing weary of getting entangled in the stalemate of TV negotiations," USA Today Sports featured columnist Robert Pace summed in an opinion piece for the Bleacher Report. "Why should consumers be subjected to the hassle of switching providers over one channel? It doesn't take a genius to decipher that the onus is on the provider and channel to find resolution, not the paying consumer."
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