Padres TV Deal? Not Yet

Bad news for San Diegans who don’t have Cox or Time Warner cable: you may have to wait a little longer to watch the Padres games from the comfort of your home.

Since this summer, AT&T and DirecTV have been negotiating with Cox Communications to get access to Padres games. Cox’s 4SD channel began broadcasting games in 1997 after assuming the rights from broadcast channels.

And they still have no deal.

AT&T is positive, saying both companies are in the midst of “active” negotiations, although they cannot give a date as to when their subscribers can view the games.

Cox is a bit more pessimistic about the negotiations. According to a Cox spokeswoman, AT&T and DirecTV have yet to even come to the table. She said negotiations could take days or months and there haven’t been many updates since talks began. (Update: Cox has since said it is negotiating through its agent, Fox.)

A DirecTV spokesman said they have been at Cox’s table the whole time and are talking terms and conditions although no mutual agreement has been reached. He too has no idea when subscribers will get the games.

This could be bad news for fans anxious about watching next season from their living room.

The Federal Communications Commission in January ended Cox’s “terrestrial loophole” — the privilege television providers use to monopolize local sports broadcasts. Many cable and satellite users then expected access to the games within the year.

But by the looks of it, Padres games might not be made available until the 2012 regular season.

Correction: The original version of this post incorrectly stated that Cox had exclusive rights to the Padres games since 1984. Cox began broadcasting games in 1997 and KUSI broadcast Sunday games until 2004, after which point Cox gained the rights to all the games. We regret the error.

Please contact Ashlie Rodriguez directly at ashlie.rodriguez@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0525.

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