Fox Sports Set To Produce First Padres Game, But MLB Still Has Not Approved Deal
The Padres’ first scheduled telecast on the new FS San Diego is Saturday, but “no one could say Thursday whether anyone would actually be able to watch the game,” according to Bill Center of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE. The network will produce a telecast, but it cannot formally announce its plans because its 20-year, $1B contract with the Padres “hasn’t been officially approved by Major League Baseball.” FS San Diego has distribution deals in place with DirecTV and Cox Cable, and while DirecTV “definitely plans to show the game and Cox might, it’s possible subscribers of both carriers could be left in the dark due to questions surrounding the lack of MLB approval.” A source said that Fox “expects the game will be available to Cox and DirecTV.” However, Time Warner Cable and AT&T U-Verse do not have carriage deals with the net. That means more than 20% of the 1.1 million HHs in San Diego County are “without access to FSSD.” One of the reasons the Padres ended their deal with Cox “was a desire to get more games out to more fans,” as Cox “never provided the signal to satellite distributors” (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 3/16).
AN UPHILL BATTLE: CBSSPORTS.com's Jon Heyman noted Padres Vice Chair & CEO Jeff Moorad's "withdrawn application to gain controlling ownership of the Padres isn't merely a formality." Moorad does not have the "votes of other owners, and there is no sign of him getting them soon." A source called Moorad's "attempt at ownership an 'uphill battle.''' Under his contract with Padres Chair John Moores, Moorad will "remain the Padres' CEO and has two years to try to gain the votes." Upon withdrawing the ownership application last week, Moorad cited the need to "focus on the television contract'' with Fox Sports (CBSSPORTS.com, 3/15).