Binding Arbitration Would Put Dodgers on the Air Now: Brad Sherman

By Sherman, Brad | Daily News (Los Angeles, CA), August 1, 2014 | Go to article overview

Binding Arbitration Would Put Dodgers on the Air Now: Brad Sherman


Sherman, Brad, Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)


Time Warner Cable bought the rights to telecast Dodgers games throughout the Los Angeles area. Everyone agrees that the Dodgers games should be available on DirecTV, and other cable and satellite systems that are following DirecTV's lead.

But the companies can't agree over how much Time Warner Cable should be paid. This dispute has already cost Dodgers fans in most of the Southland the chance to watch their team for well over half the season.

On July 28, I wrote a letter, also signed by five of my Los Angeles congressional colleagues, urging the cable/satellite companies to put the Dodgers games on now, and to have a neutral arbitrator determine the price later. A panel of three neutral arbitrators appointed by the American Arbitration Association would determine a fair price for the Dodgers network, by looking at what is paid for telecasting rights for various baseball teams around the country.

On July 29, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission wrote to thank me for bringing this matter to his attention and to assure me that the FCC would now begin an investigation that could lead to intervention. (Only if the investigation reveals particular facts will the FCC have jurisdiction to order binding arbitration.)

As reported in the Los Angeles Times, "Earlier this week, in response to pressure from U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman and other members of Congress, Time Warner Cable said it would be willing to enter binding arbitration with DirecTV and other distributors to resolve the dispute." The Dodgers have also endorsed my binding arbitration proposal.

DirecTV and its allies have not agreed to binding arbitration. However, in similar disputes in San Francisco, Boston, Oakland, and Chicago in 2009, DirecTV not only agreed to binding arbitration, but initiated those arbitrations. Dodgers fans deserve the same respect accorded in 2009 to fans of the Giants, A's, Cubs, and in the case of basketball, the Celtics.

Binding arbitration is a private-sector solution to resolving business disputes. …

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