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Watching the Lakers on TV . . . NOW how much would you pay?

Don't worry, Lakers fans, a deal will be made to get their games on TV; with so much money at stake, it simply has to happen. And guess who'll end up paying? You will.

October 12, 2012|T.J. Simers
  • The Lakers' Kobe Bryant controls the ball against the Golden State Warriors on Oct. 7, 2012.
The Lakers' Kobe Bryant controls the ball against the Golden State… (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images )

The wife cooks every year or so, and there is no exaggeration there. Every night we eat out.

That's why we live in Placentia and can't afford Pacific Palisades.

It's not that she can't cook; it's just that we've been married for 40 years. She thinks when someone says they are going to be treated like a queen she doesn't have to load the dishwasher.

And here I thought I was marrying the dishwasher.

She recently cooked some stew, and since I don't get it very often, I ate bowl after bowl and got sick.

The doctor ruled out poison.

But as I was leaning over the toilet, I got to thinking of the Lakers.

Based on what I read and hear, I don't know of anyone who doesn't think of the Lakers every minute, day and night.

Recently we heard Kobe might not play three years from now. Kobe said he had no idea what he'd be doing three years from now, but that didn't stop everyone from writing and talking about it as if it were something really serious.

The Lakers haven't played a real game yet. And yet the hype is beyond what we would expect to find in Nebraska with the Cornhuskers. And we laugh at those yahoos.

I get email every day from folks downright scared they won't be able to watch the Lakers on TV.

I remember when my biggest concern was finding rabbit ears. I also remember not being billed to watch TV.

But things change, which seems to be news to Lakers fans.

The Lakers struck a deal with Time Warner Cable because they wanted to make more money.

The Lakers like money, and more than they like you.

This is not uncommon in sports. The Lakers are getting $3 billion from TWC, but they want you to know they're suffering too. We're now being told they won't get the games on many of their own TVs.

They would like people to complain so they can get their $3 billion and the games on TV. And knowing Lakers fans as they do — with sold-out games, parades and all — they know fans will pay to watch their games.

TWC knows it too, and that's why it gave the Lakers so much money.

The cable and satellite companies that are balking now about charging an additional $3.95 a month to watch the Lakers know you will pay as well.

I remember paying 32 cents for a gallon of gas and whatever now because that's just the way it is.

Sooner or later you're going to be paying for the Lakers and telling your grandchildren you used to watch them for free.

It's a great scam. The more you complain about wanting to watch the Lakers, the happier you will be when your cable or satellite bill increases.

The same goes for the Pac-12 Networks. How many people now gladly pay hundreds for the NFL Sunday Ticket on DirecTV?

Soon the Dodgers will be doing their own TV deal.

We've already been told no one buys the Dodgers for $2.15 billion unless they know they're going to strike it rich with a new TV deal.

And who will be giving the Dodgers all that TV money?

You will be.

The Dodgers have to hope Vin Scully hangs around for the new TV deal. Otherwise it's going to be tougher to convince fans to pay extra to bring Steve Lyons into their living rooms. How much would people pay to make him leave?

Whatever the initial regrets, though, you will pay in some form, even if it's only in increased basic cable services.

It's where sports are headed. Earlier this week TBS/TNT was promoting its slate of baseball games for the next day but said the starting times were still to be determined.

Fans wanting to make plans and attend games the next day just don't matter as much anymore. It's all about what makes for the most attractive TV fare in prime time; it's where the money is.

The argument can be made it will still be cheaper to pay to watch a season of baseball or basketball on TV than to pay to take the family to a game.

But I wonder if the day will come when the Dodgers have to bring in a studio audience to make the game more exciting for the folks watching at home.

No such concern for the Lakers. Everyone's jazzed for this season. So don't you worry, you'll get the chance to pay to watch them play on TV.

And the Lakers, TWC and your own cable company know ultimately you will be thrilled to do so.

The really good news, of course, is the Lakers, TWC and your own cable companies are probably already making plans to lower the cost three years from now when Kobe's no longer playing.

Twitter: LATimesTJSimers

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