Time Warner Cable Chief Executive Glenn Britt, who has been very public about his concerns over rising programming costs, Thursday defended the company's expensive TV deals for the Lakers and Dodgers.
"They were going to be expensive no matter what happened; we think we've done the best of the alternatives," Britt said when asked about the contracts during a fourth-quarter earnings call with analysts.
Earlier this week, Time Warner Cable finalized a 25-year TV partnership with the Dodgers at cost of between $7 billion and $8 billion. The company already has a 20-year, $3.6-billion pact with the Lakers.
The deals are getting a lot of attention not only for their high price tags, but because both led to the creation of new channels in an already crowded environment. With the Dodgers getting their own channel, it will bring the number of so-called regional sports networks in Los Angeles to six. Besides the Dodgers network, Time Warner Cable owns two sports channels, and Fox Sports has two. The Pac-12 conference also has a channel for USC and UCLA games.