Report: Millions of Lakers Fans Will Miss Season Opener Unless Time Warner Cable Acts Quickly LA Times' Company Town blog
"The first regular season Los Angeles Lakers game scheduled to air on Time Warner Cable's new SportsNet channel is just a week away and the cable company still does not have any distribution deals with other pay-TV providers in the region.If Time Warner Cable doesn't get deals done soon, millions of Lakers fans will be missing a lot of basketball."
Flint's story continues, "On Wednesday, Cox Cable, which has 1.2 million subscribers in Southern California, primarily in Orange County and San Diego, said its offer to carry SportsNet and Time Warner Cable's Spanish-language sports channel Deportes on a specialty tier along with other sports channels was rebuffed."
The article quotes a Cox statement as saying "the price for the Lakers is one of the highest wholesale prices that we have seen."
The article says that Time Warner Cable is asking "as much as $3.95 per-month, per-subscriber for the two channels."
Furthermre, the story notes, "Although Cox offered to make the two channels available on an a la carte basis, Time Warner Cable has consistently said that it wants the channels available to as many homes as possible and not sold separately."
The article also says "For Time Warner Cable, the channels are a big bet. The company acquired the rights to the Lakers in a $3-billion, 20-year deal."
Time Warner Cable had not gotten back to the Times for comment by the time the story was published, the article said, but subsequently TVWeek did get this statement from Time Warner Cable:
Time Warner Cable Sports Statement Regarding Its Regional Sports Networks
"October 24, 2012 - Los Angeles, CA - With the Los Angeles Lakers, LA Galaxy and Los Angeles Sparks, two networks and unprecedented behind-the-scenes programming, Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes are delivering tremendous value for Southern California sports fans. Any assertion that we are the highest priced regional sports outlet in the country is simply untrue; as a significant buyer of regional sports across the country, we know that there are higher priced regional sports networks, including Root Sports that we buy from DirecTV. Cox and DirecTV know that there is no regional sports network anywhere in the country that is offered on an optional tier -- that would be unprecedented. If Cox or DirecTV choose not to carry our networks, we and their customers will be very disappointed but we are confident there will be other alternatives for their customers to see this highly-anticipated Lakers season."Time Warner Cable also has no deals for the channels with other program suppilers in southern Callifornia, such as Dish and AT&T's U-Verse.