The Tangled Mess that is Southern California Regional Sports Networks

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Time Warner Cable is upset that AT&T picked up Fox Sports San Diego before Time Warner Cable's own RSN which earns them the sympathy of exactly nobody.

Interesting article in the LA Times about the recent addition of FSSD to AT&T U-Verse. Apparently, some people at TWC are annoyed that AT&T hasn't picked up TWC's regional sports network just yet.

That AT&T has wrapped up an agreement for Fox Sports San Diego before SportsNet and Deportes has some Time Warner Cable executives shaking their heads.

Cost clearly isn't an issue. Fox Sports San Diego costs more than Time Warner Cable's Los Angeles networks. According to people familiar with the matter, Fox's San Diego channel is over $4 per subscriber per month while Time Warner Cable's is $3.95.

So let me make sure I understand this. There are people at Time Warner Cable who, with a straight face, are wondering why AT&T U-Verse would strike a deal with Fox Sports San Diego before they would strike a deal with TWC's own SportsNet?

This is SportsNet that carries the Lakers and no San Diego sports teams, right (outside of SDSU for a single season)?

This is the same Fox Sports San Diego that will be carrying two out of the three flagship franchises in San Diego?

This is the same Time Warner Cable that refuses to budge on a deal with Fox Sports San Diego while crying that their channel isn't getting picked up?

Reading this really makes me wonder if there isn't just some sort of annoying pride thing going on. Time Warner Cable lost out on the rights to broadcast the Padres on SportsNet, probably in part because they didn't value the Padres as much as Fox Sports did. They subsequently are refusing to pay to carry the channel. At the same time, they tout their Lakers channel as being something San Diego wants out of a regional sports network at a cost that is, by my untrained eye, comparable to what FSSD is asking for while FSSD has clearly taken the lead in being a proper RSN for San Diego. If TWC is offering SportsNet to other cable and satellite providers, they must be asking for the $3.95 per subscriber.

AT&T U-Verse in San Diego looks at this: $3.95 per subscriber gets Los Angeles Lakers games to San Diego. Approx $4 per subscriber gets San Diego Padres, Aztecs basketball, Clippers, Ducks, Chivas.

And Time Warner Cable is annoyed that the decision went the way it did?

I suspected it before, but I'm pretty confident of it now: Short of just being plain ignorant about what a San Diego sports fan would be interested in, Time-Warner Cable is being petty and if you're a sports fan on their system, they clearly - clearly - don't care about servicing you.

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