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Cox, DirecTV and Dish still working to air Lakers on SportsNet

Time Warner Cable's new outlet will carry its first Lakers telecast Wednesday night. Last week, the company struck deals with Charter, AT&T U-Verse and Verizon Fios. At issue is per-subscriber price.

October 30, 2012|By Joe Flint
  • Lakers superstars Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard, center, watch from the bench during a preseason game against the Kings on Oct. 21, 2012
Lakers superstars Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard, center, watch from the… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

Cox Cable, DirecTV and Dish Network are still trying to reach agreements to carry Time Warner Cable's new sports channel SportsNet in time for the outlet's first Lakers telecast Wednesday night.

Time Warner Cable's SportsNet, which launched Oct. 1, is the new home for the Lakers and will be the only place for fans to see 57 of the team's 82 regular-season games. Other games will be available on national outlets, including Tuesday night's Lakers season opener against Dallas, which was on TNT.

Last week, Time Warner Cable struck distribution deals for SportsNet and the Spanish-language service Deportes with Charter Communications, AT&T U-Verse and Verizon Fios.

"Dish is currently talking with Time Warner Cable SportsNet, but we will only be able to come to an agreement if the programming is offered at a good value for our customers," Dish Network officials said in a statement.

Cox and DirecTV together have almost 3 million subscribers in Southern California. Dish has 850,000. Time Warner Cable has about 2.3 million subscribers.

At issue is the price for SportsNet and Deportes. Time Warner Cable is seeking as much as $3.95 per subscriber, per month for the network. Besides the Lakers, Time Warner Cable has the rights to the Galaxy soccer team. It will also aggressively go after the Dodgers, whose contract with Fox's Prime Ticket network expires at the end of next season.

Cox and DirecTV said they are continuing negotiations with Time Warner Cable, but neither would say whether they were optimistic an agreement could be reached before the start of Wednesday night's game between the Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers.

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