Padres eye Fox, not Cox, for 2012 TV rights deal

Baseball has been very, very good for Cox Communications in San Diego, where for over a decade the MSO via its channel 4 station has held exclusive broadcast rights to the city's Major League Baseball Padres. Only fellow cable operator, Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) was able to loosen Cox's hold on Padres games, as competitors like Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH), DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) and AT&T (NYSE: T) U-verse stood perennially in the on-deck circle.

Now, according local reports, those halcyon days of sports programming exclusivity could be closer to an end than a Ryan Howard at-bat with two strikes and a curveball on the way. The winner of the new deal is expected to be Fox Sports Networks which would develop a new TV channel specifically for San Diego starting next year.

Cox channel 4 station manager Dennis Morgigno sounded as if the deal were a fait accompli, noting, "I'm really in a position where I can't say anything except it's probably not going to be us."

For more:
- the Examiner has this story

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Cox playing hardball with AT&T in San Diego
AT&T seeks lawmakers' help in getting Cox to play ball in San Diego

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