Mayor weighs in on cable impasse; Fox Sports, Time Warner remain at odds over Padres games

Nearly 22 percent of county can't watch games

SAN DIEGO - San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is reviewing options to help Padres fans who cannot watch games on Time Warner's cable service.

Fox Sports has exclusive rights to air Padres games, and the channel has reached agreements with all local TV providers to air the games, except for Time Warner Cable. As a result, approximately 22 percent of people in San Diego County won't be able to watch the Padres on TV.

Filner told Team 10 he is ready to pressure the cable company.

"We have franchise authority, we can argue for a boycott of Time Warner," Filner said. "There (are) all kinds of things we can do to put pressure on a supposedly consumer-oriented type company."

"I think it sucks," said Sarah Beverage, a Padres fan. "We live here. These are our Padres and not all of us can afford to buy a ticket."

Sue Haverkamp told Team 10 she's so angry she switched to Cox Cable.

"Last year, we couldn't see the Padres," Haverkamp said. "This year I can."

"I think it's unacceptable that a publicly franchised cable company will not run one of the greatest assets that our city has and that's the Padres games," Filner said when Team 10 caught up with him downtown on Tuesday afternoon.

Filner sent a letter to Time Warner Cable stating he would do anything in his power to make sure the games air.

Time Warner provided Team 10 a statement on the issue:

"The letter has been received and we have been in contact with the mayor's office. We always welcome an open conversation, but this is a dispute between two private parties."

Airing the games on Time Warner could mean higher cable bills for those customers. According to the contracts, the cable providers must pay Fox Sports to air the games per subscriber. The cost could be passed onto the consumer.

In a 10News Poll, 86 percent of respondents said they would not pay more to watch the Padres play on TV.

"They have a business and they have to make money," said Padres fan Mark Surrey. "But then the 'everyday Joes' like us end up losing."

The City Council will hold a public hearing on March 14 about the issue.

Time Warner Cable, Fox Sports and the mayor have all been invited.





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