Spat between Dodgers, Time Warner Cable and DirecTV moves out of town

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Dan Haren is seen during Tuesday's game against the Tigers, which aired on SportsNet LA, distributed by Time Warner Cable. Negotiations with DirecTV over the channel have been contentious.
(Kelvin Kuo / Associated Press)

The tensions between DirecTV and the Dodgers and Time Warner Cable over the team-owned channel SportsNet LA are extending beyond the Los Angeles city limits.

Dodgers officials and executives from Time Warner Cable -- which distributes SportsNet LA -- are privately grumbling that DirecTV has been selective in offering the SportsNet LA feed as part of its “Extra Innings” package. The three are already at odds over the satellite broadcaster’s decision not to sign a deal to carry SportsNet LA in Southern California.

Like the NFL Sunday Ticket package, Major League Baseball Network’s Extra Innings allows a fan to watch any out-of-market game around the country. Typically, DirecTV offers the broadcasts from both teams.


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However, there have been some occasions lately where the SportsNet LA feed was not available for out-of-town Dodgers fans, depriving them of the opportunity to hear Vin Scully. The team and Time Warner Cable think this is DirecTV being petty about the negotiations in Los Angeles for the new channel, although neither would go on the record to voice those complaints.

DirecTV also declined to comment officially on the matter, but an insider countered that there is no conspiracy here and it has shown games from SportsNet LA as part of the out-of-market package. The executive said DirecTV offers as many home and away feeds as its capacity allows, adding that space is exceptionally tight during the month of April because of the large amount of sports it carries, and sometimes there simply isn’t room for both feeds for a game.

Last week, Time Warner Cable said DirecTV had walked away from negotiations over SportsNet LA and would not be offering the channel to subscribers this year.

DirecTV denied that was the case but did say it had rejected Time Warner Cable’s current offer.

Other distributors including Cox, Verizon FiOS, Dish, AT&T U-Verse and Charter Communications are also not carrying the channel.

Bill Shaikin contributed to this report.

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Follow Joe Flint on Twitter @JBFlint.