Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke out Tuesday night on Time Warner Cable's efforts to end the standoff over distribution of the sports channel owned by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Time Warner Cable said late Tuesday that it had cut by 30% the price of the sports channel offered to DirecTV and other pay-TV providers with the hope of spurring long-stalled negotiations over carriage of the channel before the new season begins April 4.
Garcetti said in a statement that he has met with carriers over the last few years, imploring them to come to an agreement that would allow more people to see the Dodgers play on television.
"Dodger fans across L.A. deserve to watch our team play — not just subscribers to one cable system, but everyone who bleeds Dodger blue," he said. "I am hopeful that we are close to breaking the deadlock and finally doing the right thing for Dodger fans."
Currently only baseball fans in 1.8 million homes in Southern California served by Time Warner Cable or Charter Communications have access to the channel owned by Guggenheim Baseball Management. Time Warner Cable distributes the channel on behalf of the team.
DirecTV, AT&T, Verizon and Cox Communications have balked at the price of the channel that Time Warner had been demanding. Pay-TV providers have been under pressure to hold the line on programming costs because consumers are tired of seeing their pay-TV rates increase every year.
The stalemate between Time Warner Cable and other providers has roiled politicians and fans who receive their TV service from DirecTV, Verizon, AT&T and Cox Communications. Those companies all have refused to carry the channel, citing its high cost.
The potential breakthrough comes ahead of longtime broadcaster Vin Scully's final season announcing for the team. But in a statement, a Time Warner Cable spokesman said the company does not expect any other distributors to agree to carry the Dodgers' channel by opening day.
"If nothing else, let's do it for Vin Scully," Garcetti said.
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