Time Warner turns down Cox Cable's offer to carry Laker channel

lakers3.jpgJust a week to go before the first regular season game on the new SportsNet channel and Laker fans who don't have Time Warner are starting to sweat, Cox Cable, which has 1.2 million subscribers (mostly in OC and San Diego counties), proposed to carry the new channel on a specialty tier but Time Warner said no. Time Warner has also failed to sign deals with DirectTV and Dish Network. Don't be surprised if they can't come to terms before the start of the season (it's a long year). Time Warner's deal with the Lakers didn't come cheap - an estimated to run $3-billion over 20 years - and neither will its distribution contracts with other carriers. In the short term, Cox, DirecTV and the others have far more to lose by not running the Lakers. From the LAT:

Time Warner Cable is seeking as much as $3.95 per-month, per-subscriber for the two channels. The two channels launched Oct. 1. Besides the Lakers, SportsNet and Deportes also carry the Los Angeles Galaxy soccer team. Time Warner Cable is also expected to pursue rights to the Dodgers, whose contract with Fox's Prime Ticket regional sports channel expires after next season. "I think it is extremely expensive for basically a one-team channel," said Dave Bialis, senior vice president of Cox's California operations.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
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