White: Dodgers Net Churn Impact ‘Immaterial’

DirecTV chief says still hopeful for RSN deal
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Nearly three months after Time Warner Cable launched SportsNet LA, the home of the Los Angeles Dodgers, DirecTV CEO Mike White told analysts Tuesday that not carrying the pricey regional sports network has had an “immaterial” impact on churn.

DirecTV is one of several distributors in the Los Angeles area that have declined to carry SportsNet LA because of its high costs – by some estimates, about $4 per subscriber per month. On a conference call with analysts to discuss first quarter results Tuesday, White said that while the parties are still talking, not having the RSN has had little impact on subscriber metrics so far.

Time Warner Cable launched SportsNet LA on Feb. 25. Several distributors complained of the high price – especially when coupled with three other RSNs in the market (Prime Ticket, Fox Sports LA and Time Warner Cable SportsNet), to date only a handful of distributors carry the channel.

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