Time Warner wants to charge a lot of money for the new Dodgers channel

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Josh Kosman and Claire Atkinson of the New York Post are hearing from sources that the Time Warner is having a tough time getting other cable systems to carry their new Dodgers channel:

Time Warner Cable has yet to start negotiations for the Dodgers network, named SportsNet LA, and already several pay-TV providers are balking at the expected asking price, sources said.

“They know several distributors will say no [to Dodgers channel] because of the costs,” said one source.
While Time Warner Cable gained distribution for its SportsNet and Deportes channels last year, the contentious negotiations with distributors left little appetite for another pricey deal.

They report that the Dodgers are going to ask $5 per subscriber at the outset but that over time it will escalate to $8 per subscriber. Which is really, really high compared to other regional sports networks’ carriage prices. But that’s also what Time Warner needs to pay the Dodgers the $8 billion over 25 years it agreed to pay the Dodgers for TV rights.

This will all be passed on to consumers in the form of higher cable bills. Which, if you’re a Dodgers fan, you probably won’t mind if the alternative is not being able to see your team. If you’re not a Dodgers fan, however, and you just want to watch old movies or reality shows or whatever? At some point you’re gonna start to get mad, right?

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.