TWC has no plans to put SportsNet LA on broadcast TV again for Dodgers pennant drive

Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) said it has no plans to air the stretch drive of the Los Angeles Dodgers pennant run on independent broadcast station KDOC-TV, as it did a year ago.

Charter's acquisition of TWC stoked hopes among fans that a breakout carriage agreement for SportsNet LA was in the works. But three months after announcement of the deal, the channel still isn't in 2 million Southern California pay-TV homes.

TWC was the only major cable system in Southern California to carry the channel last year. The MSO appeased the team's fans -- and spurred hope that a deal would be forthcoming in 2015 -- by putting the last six regular-season Dodgers games on free-to-air KDOC-TV last year. 

"We have no plans to do that" this year, TWC spokesman Nadia Gonzalez told the Los Angeles Times.

The decision not to air games on KDOC-TV appears to have been TWC's decision and not the broadcaster's. "I'd love to have them again," KDOC General Manager John Manzi said to the Times, adding that he has had no discussions with TWC this year. 

The channel averaged 259,000 viewers over its six Dodgers broadcast last season, triple the audience that SportsNet LA averaged -- and a vast uptick over the 18,000 viewers KDOC averaged last September in prime time outside Dodgers telecasts.

In June, shortly after announcing its intent to acquire TWC, Charter announced that it would add SportsNet LA to the program guides of around 300,000 Southern California Charter pay-TV customers.

That still left 2 million local TV homes without the channel. DirecTV (NYSE: T), which serves about 1.2 million of those homes, complained that Charter received a discounted carriage deal.

In January 2013, TWC agreed to pay the Dodgers $8.35 billion over 25 years to launch SportsNet LA and make it the exclusive regional sports network home of the team. 

For more:
- read this Los Angeles Times story

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