Dodgers TV Standoff Lives Despite Lawsuit Settlement Between AT&T and Justice Department

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A television camera is trained on the field at Dodger Stadium on Monday, Aug. 4, 2014. (Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

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The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday settled its lawsuit with AT&T, resolving claims that a high-level DirecTV executive illegally colluded with other pay-TV companies in Southern California to block the rollout of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ cable sports channel in 2014.

As part of the proposed settlement, AT&T pledged to monitor its employees so they do not illegally share information about sensitive contract negotiations with competitors.

However, the government stopped short of demanding that AT&T, which acquired satellite television service DirecTV in 2015, begin carrying SportsNet LA, the Dodgers-owned channel.

That means the shutout of the Dodgers channel — which is about to enter its fourth season — will continue unless AT&T agrees on its own to carry the channel on its DirecTV and U-Verse pay-TV systems. Pay-TV companies have insisted that SportsNet LA is too expensive.

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