Yesterday, we reported that Congressman Tony Cárdenas (D-San Fernando Valley) had written a letter to the Federal Communications Commission requesting the bureau mediate the ongoing dispute surrounding the Dodgers’ network, SportsNet L.A. You can read that story here.
The full text of Cárdenas’ letter is here:
Chairman Tom Wheeler
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street SW
Washington, DC 20554
Dear Chairman Wheeler:
We write to express our growing concern over the ongoing dispute between Time Warner Cable and various pay-TV providers including AT&T U-verse, Charter Communications, Cox Communications, DIRECTV, DISH Network, Mediacom, Suddenlink Communications and Verizon Fios on how to provide residents of Los Angeles with reasonable access to Los Angeles Dodger television broadcasts. The tradition of the Los Angeles Dodgers accompanied by the iconic voice of Vin Scully remains a pastime that families across Los Angeles eagerly anticipate every baseball season. Unfortunately, we are at the midpoint in the season and thousands of baseball fans remain in the dark.
Consumers deserve the opportunity to watch their program of choice. For Dodger fans across Los Angeles, this is not an option and there is no clear resolution on the horizon. This dispute not only affects the access of individual family homes, but also restaurants and bars throughout the area who may have long standing ties or access, to one provider and are now unable to meet the viewing demands of their customers.
The ongoing stalemate between Time Warner Cable and other pay-TV providers has reached a point where mediation by the FCC is necessary. We have concerns that the current dispute may set a precedent for vertically integrated companies to hold the consumer hostage to assert unfair market dominance. The FCC must ensure that we have a competitive market and no one company has an unfair advantage at the expense of consumers.
Ensuring that homes throughout Los Angeles County have access to the broadcast of Dodger games regardless of which cable or satellite company provides service in their areas is very important. We call on the FCC to mediate this dispute and ensure that consumers in Los Angeles can watch their home team.