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.
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.
"We are committed to meeting the needs of all Cox customers, not just sports fans," Cox said in a statement, adding that "the price for the Lakers is one of the highest wholesale prices that we have seen."
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.