Reuters' Lisa Richwine recently talked with the suits of Time Warner Cable, Inc. and other cable and dish providers in Southern California to get an update on the dealings to have every paid television provider carry the new Time Warner Cable SportsNet and the all-Spanish Time Warner Cable Deportes.
And for us Laker fans who don't have Time Warner Cable, this is probably our biggest concern right now when it comes to finally watching the reloaded Lakers outside of Staples Center.
Time Warner Cable's regional sports network senior vice president and general manager Mark Shuken insists that the company is working diligently to reach an agreement with other local carriers in time for the October 1st launch of the new channels — or before the Lakers' first pre-season game on October 7th against the Golden State Warriors.
The Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes will not only provide live and in-depth coverage of the Lakers but also the Sparks, Galaxy, and CIF high school games. Time Warner Cable will bid for the rights to air the Dodgers when the team's contract with Fox expires in 2013 as well as the Kings when their new deal with Fox (signed back in June) ends in 2015.
Shuken believes that the hold out from the other providers will soften as the start of pre-season looms closer and closer. If not, there's a probability that the negotiations will continue into the early parts of the regular season.
As it stands, Time Warner Cable is losing out on about 3 million potential customers from the other distributors if they don't get an agreement done. The company wants at least $3.95 per subscriber from those distributors to help cover the $2 billion, 20+ year contract they signed with the Lakers on February 2011.
For those who can't live without the Lakers on TV (which I presume most of us), that extra $3.95 a month won't be an issue to watch Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol, and Metta World Peace make a run for the title.
But the spokespersons for both CoxCommunications and Charter Communications think that Laker fans would rather save the extra $48 a year.
I don't know about you but I'm more than happy to shell out $48 every 12 months to watch the team I've been rooting for for decades. And if you're like me, it won't hurt to let your provider know that you want your Lakers basketball.
Time Warner Cable has even started their TV spot campaign (watch video below) and www.iwantmylakers.com to help you do just that.