/// The Chairman of the FCC Is Annoyed With Time Warner Cable

July 29, 2014  |  Media Week

Maybe it was the widespread feeling that Tom Wheeler is too close to the industry he regulates . Maybe it was pressure from Congress. Maybe it was John Oliver calling him a dingo . Whatever the reason, Wheeler is now telling Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus personally that “your actions appear to have created the inability of consumers in the Los Angeles area to watch televised games of the Los Angeles Dodgers.” In a business where finger-pointing is considered the sport of kings, that's a pretty harsh blow from an industry regulator—it's not often that an external agency directly apportions blame, but wrangling over costs or no, Wheeler is making an example of TWC in its dispute with the SportsNet LA, the network owned by Dodgers (disclosure: Guggenheim Partners, Adweek's parent company, acquired the Dodgers in 2012). Wheeler has demanded that Marcus supply the FCC all material pertaining to the SportsNetLA contract. Wheeler made it clear that he has a handle on the situation, too: “I understand that TWC's contract with SportsNet LA provides TWC with exclusive rights to the affiliate sales for SportsNet LA,” Wheeler writes in a letter to Marcus. “I further understand from press reports that, in its carriage negotiations with other [ multichannel video programming distributors ], TWC has demanded that SportsNet LA be carried on the basic service tier at rates of $4-$5 per subscriber. Other MVPDs in the network's footprint reportedly have refused to agree to these terms, claiming that the price is too high and objecting to terms that could require all subscribers to pay for access to the network.” That stalemate has indeed shut 70 percent of the L.A

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The Chairman of the FCC Is Annoyed With Time Warner Cable

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