Fox RSN Set to Televise First San Diego Padres Game3/16/2012 5:49 PM Eastern
Although it has yet to receive approval from Major League Baseball, Fox Sports plans to throw out its first telecast pitch on its new San Diego Padres-centered regional sports network on Saturday.
The Saint Patrick's Day telecast is scheduled to feature the Padres against the Kansas City Royals
"Major League Baseball is vetting the contract, doing its due diligence," said a Fox Sports spokesman. "We're operating as if the contract will be approved."
Published reports indicate that Fox Sports will pay the Padres some $1 billion over a 20-year term. The club will also receive an equity stake in the regional sports network, which expects to televise 157 Padres games during the 2012 season. The clus opens the regular season against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 5.
Fox Sports said on Friday that it is "going to produce the game and beam it up to the satellite." The programmer expects that DirecTV and Cox, which previously held the rights to Padres games, will take the feed and televise the March 17 matchup.
Fox Sports has yet to reach carriage contracts with the area's other key distributors, Time Warner Cable and AT&T U-verse. Time Warner Cable officials on Friday said the MSO is continuing to negotiate with Fox about the RSN.
Approval of the contract has been held up by Padres ownership issues. CEO Jeff Moorad recently withdrew his application to complete the acquisition of the team from John Moores in favor of concentrating on finalizing the television deal. Published reports say there have been questions about upfront rights payment under the deal and whether a number of MLB club owners would ultimately approve the transfer of the Padres from Moores to Moorad.