The Sports Fans Coalition, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, filed a Petition to Deny with the Federal Communications Commission in connection with the pending Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger.
According to an email from the SFC:
We call on the FCC to (1) hold the entire Comcast-Time Warner proceeding in abeyance unless and until the unprecedented Dodgers/TWC holdup is resolved, and (2) either deny the merger or require as a condition the complete divestiture by Comcast of all its Regional Sports Networks.
Already, members of Congress have asked the FCC to intervene on this matter with no formal response. With five weeks left in the MLB regular season, it seems unlikely that non-Time Warner subscribers will be watching live Dodgers games (legally) anytime soon.
Also Monday, AwfulAnnouncing.com reported that TWC is asking carriers to pay $3.84 per month per subscriber for SportsNet LA, which goes a long way toward explaining the hold-up if it’s true. Author Joe Lucia contends that the Time Warner/DirecTV impasse could delay the Comcast-Time Warner proceedings without any outside help.
Here’s more from that article:
Only five RSNs in the country ask for more money out of subscribers – Fox Sports North, CSN Mid-Atlantic, NESN, CSN Philadelphia, and TWC SportsNet. Of course, all but one of those RSNs has the rights to multiple big four teams, and the one that doesn’t is in the same market as SportsNet LA and is also owned by Time Warner.