Comcast’s Merger With TWC Likely To Be Suggested Against Allowing


The Los Angeles Dodgers are in the second week of the 2015 regular season as more games continue to get crossed off the schedule without additional distribution agreements for Time Warner Cable’s SportsNet LA in place.

It was reported in March TWC entered negotiations with other pay-TV distributors, however there failed to be much traction generated. Aside from AT&T U-verse, Charter, DirecTV and others balking at the price for the regional sports network, the belief is talks have also been hindered by pending mergers.

After news of the Federal Communications Commission delaying their decision last month on the AT&T merger with DirecTV and Comcast’s proposed purchasing of TWC, David McLaughlin and Todd Shields of Bloomberg.com report attorneys with the Justice Department’s antitrust division will recommend against allowing Comcast to overtake TWC:

Staff attorneys at the Justice Department’s antitrust division are nearing a recommendation to block Comcast Corp.’s bid to buy Time Warner Cable Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.

Their review is expected to be submitted next week and senior officials from the antitrust division will then make their decision. While the merger being rejected would a blow to Comcast, a final decision could — in theory — pave the way for SportsNet LA deals to fall into place.

However, Comcast could just as easily fight the decision and further drag out the process in their attempt to get the deal passed. The TV impasse doesn’t appear to have had much of a negative impact on the Dodgers.

They set Spring Training attendance records this year at Camelback Ranch and reached 3 million in ticket sales just over three weeks ago, achieving the milestone at the earliest date in franchise history.

Several Dodgers executives, including part owner Magic Johnson, have expressed remorse over the lingering impasse and maintained the team is working behind the scenes to help facilitate a solution.

Staff Writer

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  1. I believe your assessment is inaccurate. The RSN deals for the remaining 70% of LA homes is really contingent on the merger happening-that’s been publically addressed by the parties involved. If the merger doesn’t happen you can forget about any deals taking place. The only reasonable recourse, I suspect, is Chapter 11 bankruptcy on SportsNet LA; thereby forcing the Dodgers to renegotiate the TWC contract. If this occurs then getting out of BK court could take years.

  2. I also find it amazing that anyone is surprised by this development… This happens with mergers all the time… and Comcast WILL fight it, and it will drag out for a good long while.

    I have to say, of all the crap being said… what’s being said by Magic and Kasten is the biggest slap in the face. They are completely quiet for months, when they do say something… they STILL say nothing. This “we are doing everything we can” stuff is total lip service and is insulting!

  3. Guggenheim broke it and they need to get involved to fix it. Dodger fans are united for the 70%.

  4. I fully blame TWC for its all-or-nothing-at-all policy. Its refusal to parcel out a partial schedule of simulcasting games this season to a local over-the-air channel is absurd. (In contrast, many other teams work out such deals, such as Kasten’s former franchise, the Washington Nationals; they’ve carried about 20 games on an OTA station in addition to MASN for several years.) Yes, the Dodgers allowed such simulcasts down the stretch last season, but why can’t they persuade TWC to do likewise on a more sustained basis?

    1. Vincent I agree with you. I do not blame Guggenheim for this. They are a very large Fund. They invested their money in a very smart move to get a return for their clients. They were offered a massive amount of money for their TV rights. Money that made their investment immediately in the profit column. A real financial achievement. I am sure they were surprised and thrilled to get the huge proposal from TWC. As professionals they have to assume TWC being a very large company knows their business and market. The fact that TWC is managed by people that are not competent is not a Guggenheim problem. It is certainly a public relations issue for the Dodgers but I am sure they feel if they can continue to improve the Team and put a winner on the field eventually this will all be resolved. And they will have one of the most talented teams in baseball. They have made all the moves to ensure this for the future. They are obviously playing the long game here and that is to our gain for the future. Yes it is really terrible that the TV situation is what it is but it is not really the fault of Guggenheim.

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