Sports Fans Coalition petitions FCC to delay Comcast-Time Warner merger.

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.

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Local Congressman clarifies proposal for ‘binding baseball-style arbitration’ over SportsNet LA.

Congressman Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) sent a letter today to the chairmen of Time Warner Cable, DirecTV and the Federal Communications Commission spelling out his earlier proposal for a binding arbitration process. It’s the third letter sent by a local member of Congress to the FCC concerning the ongoing dispute over SportsNet LA, the Dodgers’ home channel.

Here is the full text of the letter signed by Sherman. It’s a fairly dry read, but the level of specificity emphasizes the level of thought put into the proposal. Proposing binding arbitration becomes more than a two-word soundbite:

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Full text of letter from U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.

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:
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Dodgers bringing six broadcasters on seven-game road trip.

The Dodgers announced that Nomar Garciaparra will join Orel Hershiser, Charley Steiner and Alanna Rizzo in the SportsNet LA television booth during a seven-game road trip beginning today in Denver.

Kevin Kennedy will call the game alongside Rick Monday on KLAC (570-AM). The Dodgers first used these television/radio pairings during the recent homestand, when Vin Scully missed two games due to a chest cold.

Blacked-out Dodger fans plan protest for 3 p.m. Sunday.

Dodgers fans are taking their complaints to the streets.

A public protest of the Dodgers’ television deal has been scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday outside The Short Stop bar. The protest will follow a route to the corner of Sunset and Elysian Park, then up the hill to the intersection of Stadium Way and Elysian Park.

According to a press release from FansRising.com, the various cable and satellite providers around Los Angeles not carrying SportsNet LA have left an estimated seven in 10 viewers unable to watch games.

The campaign has 3,039 fan signatures. FansRising.com says that hundreds have RSVP’d for the protest.

The news comes as former Dodgers general manager Fred Claire, in an interview with Yahoo! Sports Radio on Friday, called the Time Warner standoff a “tipping point” from a business standpoint.

Claire, who teaches a Sports Business course at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, called the lack of traction for Time Warner “a major, major problem for the business of sports. … There is always the assumption that the fan will pay.”

Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti joins the chorus calling for SportsNet LA in more homes.

From the Associated Press:

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti chided Time Warner Cable at an industry gathering Tuesday for not reaching deals with other TV providers so all fans of the Dodgers could watch the team’s games.

The Dodgers are more than a month into their regular season and so far only customers of Time Warner Cable Inc., its partner Bright House Networks, and a small operator called Champion Broadband have been able to see them.

That leaves out subscribers of major providers such as DirecTV, Dish Network, Verizon and AT&T.

The contract to broadcast Dodgers games, which had long been with Fox Sports’ Prime Ticket regional sports network, was snatched up Time Warner Cable Inc. last year in a deal estimated to be worth $7 billion over the next two decades.

Garcetti used a keynote speech at the Cable Show industry conference to press for a deal.

“I hope that we can resolve the fact that our home town baseball team, the Dodgers, is not currently seen on all of our boxes around the city,” he said.

Daily Distractions: The Dodgers won’t play today and Zack Greinke shouldn’t mind.

Zack  Greinke

Zack Greinke was scheduled to pitch in tonight’s game against the Minnesota Twins. (Associated Press photo)

Attention, Target Field shoppers: It’s raining in Minnesota.

It’s raining so much, that the Dodgers won’t play the Minnesota Twins today. The game has been postponed until Thursday at 4 p.m. (PST) as part of a day-night doubleheader, with the first game beginning at 10 a.m.

It couldn’t happen to a better pitcher.

While some hurlers are such creatures of habit that anything more or less than regular rest throws their performance off-kilter, Zack Greinke doesn’t seem to mind the occasional extra day. Tonight’s scheduled starter will presumably take the ball tomorrow night on six days’ rest. Here are Greinke’s career numbers on six days’ rest, via Baseball-Reference.com:

   W-L  ERA  IP    H   R  ER  HR  BB SO  HBP WP BF  WHIP   SO9 SO/W
   11-6 2.72 149.0 144 56 45  12  38 116  6  6  620 1.221  7.0 3.05

Greinke is also in the midst of a ridiculous hot streak that’s seen him pitch at least five innings without allowing more than two runs in 20 consecutive starts, including the 2013 postseason. That’s the longest such streak in the modern era, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

His numbers since last July 4: Greinke has a 1.76 ERA, averaging 8.9 strikeouts per nine innings against 8.5 baserunners, and five strikeouts for every walk. So the Twins have that to look forward to.

Some bullet points for a World Wish Day:
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