San Diego City Council member president pro tem Sherri
Lightner plans to hold a hearing "in the next few weeks" to try and
pressure Time Warner Cable to strike a carriage deal with Fox Sports San Diego
(FSSD) before the baseball season starts April 1 -- the regional sports net
carries the Padres.
That follows a letter
by city Mayor Bob Filner to TWC urging it to end the stalemate.
FSSD has struck agreements with Cox, DirecTV, AT&T,
U-Verse and Dish.
Lightner wants City Attorney Jan Goldsmith to attend the
hearing and provide info on "what rights the city has through its
franchise agreement with Time Warner Cable to compel it to negotiate an
"The message from my constituents is loud and clear: "They
want to be able to watch their hometown baseball team on television," Lightner
said. "The City of San Diego needs to explore all its options to see how it can
help deliver the Padres to the people."
Lightner also wants representatives of both
companies to appeal to discuss what is standing in the way of a deal. Look for
a hearing by March 20 if no deal has been struck before then.
"We maintain open lines of communication with all the elected officials in the areas we serve to make sure we're hearing both their concerns and those of their constituents," said Time Warner Cable in a statement. "We always welcome an open conversation, but this is a dispute between two private parties."
Look for TWC to send someone to that hearing, although a spokesperson had no comment on the carriage issue beyond saying: "We would like to carry Fox Sports San Diego at the right value, but unfortunately we are at an impasse at this time." There are no current negotiations, according to a source.
"Fox is still gathering information about the hearing and has not yet decided if it will send a representative," said a Fox Sports spokesperson.
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