Our long regional nightmare is over, Padres fans living in northern San Diego County.
Time Warner Cable and the Padres have come to an agreement to air games on Fox Sports San Diego starting on (or before) March 30, the Padres’ opening day.
Before Fox Sports San Diego was created, the result of an agreement between the team and Fox before the 2012 season, Padres fans who didn’t have Cox or Time Warner couldn’t watch the team. During that time, I had the misfortune of living two places in San Diego that didn’t allow for service from either provider, despite being close enough to the stadium to actually hear fans cheering.
Once Fox Sports San Diego was created, the thought was that the embarrassment was over. Finally, all of the Padres fans living in San Diego would be able to watch the local team on television. However, Time Warner stonewalled the Padres and complained about the high rates Fox Sports was commanding. This left close to 40 percent of the county unable to watch the team unless they switched from Time Warner, which often requires expensive contract cancellation fees. In short, the Padres’ television situation was still a joke, mocked by the rest of the league.
Time Warner lost a lot of customers over the last two years in San Diego. Many switched over to AT&T U-Verse, DISH Network or DirecTV. They likely won’t win those customers back, but adding Fox Sports San Diego before the 2014 baseball season starts will likely keep many more from jumping ship.
Now, finally, all of the Padres fans in San Diego County will have access to live, televised games. While it’s not quite the a la carte option that many are still praying for, a monthly subscription that allows for Padres games to be streamed over the internet in high definition, it’s still a win for the team, the fans, Fox and the cable providers.