With the San Diego Padres’ home opener growing closer and closer, thousands of Padres fans are still left without television access to their favorite team, due to the yearlong impasse between Fox Sports San Diego and Time Warner Cable.
Over 185,000 households in San Diego County will not be able to watch the Padres telecasts from the comfort of their home because of this feud, which gravely affected viewership last season as well. Padres fans are justifiably frustrated that they have to resort to listening to the games on the radio or reading about the plays hours after the games already ended, when they just want to relax and watch the action unfold in real time.
In the past month, negotiations between the two companies have reopened, but it seems unlikely that any resolution will occur before the Padres official Opening Day. Time Warner Cable and Fox Sports San Diego already missed their first promised deadline of resuming coverage at the beginning of the MLB season.
The situation in San Diego has become so hostile that local government has gotten involved. City Councilwoman Sherri Lightner told local newspaper U-T San Diego that it was her duty to draw attention to resolving the dispute between the two companies because San Diego taxpayers made “a real and tangible investment in the Padres and their ballpark.”
Her persistence struck a chord with the rest of the city council, as they voted 6-0 to urge the two companies to make the Padres a part of Time Warner Cable households once more. Now, their vote is not going to get the two companies to kiss and make up, but it is an incredible symbolic gesture that indicates that baseball is a huge part of what it means to be a San Diegan.
Hopefully, Fox Sports San Diego and Time Warner Cable will come to some sort of conclusion that makes sense for both companies, and allow Padres telecasts to return to TWC households at least before the 2013 season ends. It would be unthinkable to keep Padres fans in the dark for two entire seasons without game coverage, but this may turn out to be the case. It is in the networks’ hands at this point.