Time Warner Cable says fee increase is too high in dispute with Fox Sports San Diego

A Time Warner Cable spokesperson said Friday that Fox Sports San Diego is seeking an unreasonable price increase for the cable company to carry San Diego Padres baseball games this season.

Padres baseball games will be broadcast this season on the newly launched Fox Sports San Diego network. So far, only DirecTV and Cox Communications (which is only available in San Diego County) have signed on to carry the new network.

Time Warner Cable has been negotiating with Fox Sports to add the network, but the two sides still appear far apart with opening day less than a week away.

“We continue to negotiate for the right to put the Padres games on the air,” Time Warner Cable spokesperson Milinda Martin said.  “Fox is currently demanding a 400% price increase over the price we paid for the Padres last year.  That is unreasonable and it’s the main issue.” 

The Padres open the regular season at home on Thursday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and most fans would be unable to watch Fox Sports San Diego.  The Dodgers’ feed of the season opener will be available in the desert on Prime Ticket.

According to a statement from Fox Sports on Thursday night, an agreement between the newly launched Fox Sports San Diego and Time Warner Cable is unlikely before the Padres open the season Thursday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“Despite our best efforts, we do not expect to have an agreement with Time Warner and AT&T by Opening Day,” the Fox statement said.

So far, DirecTV and Cox Communications (available in the San Diego area) have launched Fox Sports San Diego. Padres telecasts will be offered by DirecTV on channel 694, including tonight’s spring training game against San Francisco at 7:05 p.m.  

Here’s the full Fox statement on FS San Diego’s carriage negotiations with Time Warner Cable and AT&T. There has been no mention about discussions with Verizon Fios that serves some areas of the Coachella Valley.

“Despite our best efforts, we do not expect to have an agreement with Time Warner and AT&T by Opening Day.

“We have offered Time Warner and AT&T very fair rates that are consistent with the terms that Cox and DIRECTV have agreed to. Time Warner has not even responded to our most recent proposal.

“Unfortunately for Padres fans who subscribe to Time Warner and AT&T, they should explore alternatives for watching the Padres on Opening Day.”

Fox Sports San Diego will televise  157 regular-season Padres games this season.