Dem lawmaker signals FCC for help on Dodgers games

Los Angeles Dodgers fans may get to watch the final week of the team’s regular season, but Rep. Brad ShermanBradley (Brad) James ShermanTrump-Pelosi trade deal creates strife among progressives The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by UANI — GOP, Democrats square off at final impeachment hearing Live coverage: Democrats, Republicans seek to win PR battle in final House impeachment hearing MORE (D-Calif.) is already worried about next year.

After a deal was reached to allow the baseball team’s final six regular season games to appear on local broadcast television on Monday, Sherman called again for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to intervene so that fans have a chance to watch next year’s games, too.

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“We must act now to assure that the Dodgers are not blacked out for the 2015 season,” Sherman said in a statement.

All season long, Dodgers games have only been shown on SportsNet LA, a channel owned by the team but distributed by Time Warner Cable. The company has demanded high fees for other cable firms to carry the channel, but none of them have been able to reach an agreement.

As a result, only fans who are Time Warner Cable subscribers have been able to watch the games this year. 

To settle the issue, some lawmakers have asked the FCC to step in, but so far it has declined to make that move. 

On Monday, the company reportedly said that it had reached an agreement to broadcast games during the final week of the season — beginning on Sept. 22 — on a free independent broadcast station, in a show of goodwill to local fans.

Sherman said he was pleased that “millions of Angelinos will finally be able to enjoy the games,” but said that he would discuss the issue with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler “in the hopes that the FCC will use its authority to push all the parties into binding arbitration so that a panel of three neutral arbitrators can determine the price — and let Dodgers fans see the 2015 season.”

The Dodgers are locked in a tight race for their division and could make the playoffs.