It has become one of the angriest clichés in sports: A cable or satellite TV dispute that threatens to cost fans the chance to see games of their favorite team.
You know the story: A certain TV carrier can't agree on rights fees with a certain sports network, therefore fans are caught in the middle and, perhaps, left without a place to watch. That's what is happening in in southern California, where Fox Sports San Diego, a brand-new channel, plans to carry at least 157 San Diego Padres games this season. Only, FSSD hasn't reached an agreement with carriers Time Warner and AT&T — and isn't expecting to by opening day — so at least 200,000 customers will have to make other plans to watch the Friars.
Cable and satellite companies are always bickering about at rights fees. Sometimes, these annoying disagreements even cost fans a chance to see World Series games.
Via a tweet by John Ourand of Sports Business Journal, here's the latest statement from Fox on the Padres matter:
"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."
And the club has announced that Petco Park is virtually sold out for opening day against the hated Dodgers, by the way.
I don't know who the good guy is and who the bad guy is in these negotiations (although, when's the last time you heard anyone say something nice about their cable company?). They just need to "git 'er done," as Larry the Cable Guy would say. How does that guy always know?
In the meantime, Deadspin has compiled a list of area bars for folks to watch games. Now there's someone who is thinking of the fan.