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?
Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area hints that the Giants may be done with outfielder Hunter Pence. It’s not clear just how seriously the club is contemplating such a decision, but there are six days remaining on Pence’s rehab assignment, at which point they’ll be able to recall him, reassign him to the minors or release him.
The 35-year-old outfielder has struggled to make a full recovery after spraining his right thumb during the first week of the season. Pence bounced back for a 17-game run with the Giants in April, during which he slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 with one double and one stolen base in 61 plate appearances, but was eventually placed on the disabled list with recurring soreness in his finger. He currently sports a promising .318/.359/.388 batting line with four extra-base hits (including a grand slam) over 92 PA in Triple-A Sacramento.
Despite his recent resurgence in Triple-A, the Giants may not need the additional outfield depth just yet. Mac Williamson, who was recalled in the wake of Pence’s DL assignment, has already cemented the starting role in left field and is off to a strong start at the plate as well. Of course, if the Giants decide to say a premature goodbye to their veteran outfielder (who, it should be said, helped them to two World Series championships over the last seven seasons), it’ll cost them the remaining balance on his $18.5 million salary for 2018.