Sources: Channel 4 San Diego Out As Padres' TV Partner After This Season
Channel 4 San Diego officials "held a meeting Thursday in which employees were told that the station won't retain the rights to broadcast Padres games when the current contract expires after this season," according to sources cited by Dan Hayes of the NORTH COUNTY TIMES. Sources said that officials "didn't say which entity would secure the contract rights," but they "did inform the staff that the station won't carry games beginning in 2012." Sources said that Fox Sports "has proposed a 20-year broadcast agreement that would assure the Padres" of $17-22M per season. The deal "would require Fox to start a San Diego-based network" similar to FS West in L.A. Multiple sources confirmed that if Fox wins the rights, Channel 4 "would pitch the network on retaining as many of its employees as possible." Channel 4 Station Manager Dennis Morgigno: "We have not heard that the Padres have a new deal, but we are not negotiating with them actively." Sources said that the Padres and Channel 4 are "at least $6 million per season apart in negotiations." Sources also noted that the Padres "have previously explored an in-house production for broadcasts as well as a relationship with Comcast." Meanwhile, Hayes notes the team has "held talks with XX Sports 1090 about renewing a radio contract that expires after this season" (NORTH COUNTY TIMES, 4/22). In San Diego, Norcross & Posner cite a Padres source as saying that "no deal has been reached with another company to carry the games." However, the club "has made no secret of the fact it wants broader coverage of its games." Cox-owned Channel 4 "has been the primary home of Padres telecasts since 1997, and its exclusive home since 2004" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 4/22).