Column: Padres, Fox Sports San Diego need plan to broadcast more spring training games

Shortly after the first pitch of the Padres’ spring training opener Sunday against the Mariners in Peoria, Ariz., Twitter began to boil.

One post: “Only in San Diego can you never watch a Padres/Aztecs game on tv … in San Diego.” When the club’s social media account posted a picture of Manny Machado “chilling,” a fan unleashed the blowtorch: “Put the game on TV or shut up.”

Those comments represented the tip of the TV-craving iceberg.

As the most anticipated season in franchise history limbers up, the Padres are feeling the unprecedented buzz and anticipation. They’re also feeling the heat of a 10-game spring training television schedule that pales in comparison to their Southern California neighbors.


Fox Sports West will carry every Angels game this spring, while Fox Sports San Diego — another arm of the same regional sports network — will air just 36 percent of the Padres’ 28-game run. The Dodgers, who own their own regional network, are offering all their games as well.

A Fox Sports spokesperson declined to comment and did not respond to a request to interview Lindsay Amstutz, senior vice president and general manager for the Southern California entities owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Padres CEO Erik Greupner said, “We don’t publicly discuss the details of our contractual relationship with our broadcast partner. But we hear the fans. We’re working on it. We’re trying to do what we can to give the fans…

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