SBD/March 7, 2012/Media

DirecTV, Cox Communications Agree To Carry FS San Diego, Majority Of Padres Games

Agreement will give DirecTV subs access to Padres games for first time in years
For the first time in years, DirecTV subscribers will have access to Padres games this season. Sources say both DirecTV and Cox have agreed to carry FS San Diego, which is in the process of picking up rights to the team's games from Cox' Channel 4 this season. Cox has around 450,000 cable subscribers in the market. The companies are holding off on making a formal announcement until MLB approves the team's TV deal with FS San Diego, which is for a reported 20 years and averages out to $50M per year. As part of that deal, the Padres would take a 20% equity stake in the network. Time Warner Cable, which controls around 30% of the market, still has not cut a deal for FS San Diego, though sources said the two sides still are talking. In recent years, Padres games were carried by Cox Channel 4, which was not available to DirecTV, due to a federal regulation known as the "terrestrial loophole." The regulation, which was closed officially in '10, has also kept Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia off of DirecTV.
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