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January 22, 2013 | By Joe Flint
With Time Warner Cable putting the finishing touches on a new partnership with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the next question is what will happen to the team's current TV home, News Corp.'s Prime Ticket. Besides the Dodgers, Prime Ticket also has rights to the red-hot Clippers basketball franchise and Ducks hockey team. Its other Los Angeles sports channel -- Fox Sports West -- carries the Angels and Stanley Cup Champion Kings A Fox insider said there are no plans to consolidate Prime Ticket and Fox Sports West into one channel.
January 21, 2013 | By Joe Flint
Get ready, Angelenos, another regional sports network may be headed your way! Time Warner Cable is in advanced talks with the Dodgers for a deal involving the storied franchise's television rights. According to the Los Angeles Times, Time Warner Cable is prepared to pay upward of $7 billion for the right to be in business with the Dodgers for the foreseeable future. A contract could be announced as early as later this week. This would be the biggest local sports contract in television history.
December 18, 2012 | By Meg James
Time Warner Cable plans to drop the small Santa Monica-based channel Ovation from its programming lineup at year's end -- a blow to the independent network that has attempted to elevate TV coverage of the arts and contemporary culture. The nation's second-largest cable television provider said its decision came down to simple economics. There hasn't been enough demand for the channel, which was seeking a modest rate increase when negotiations over a new distribution agreement stalled several months ago. “Steeply escalating programming costs are forcing us to closely assess each network as it comes up for renewal,” Time Warner Cable said Tuesday in a statement.
December 4, 2012 | By Joe Flint
Consumers may want to pick and choose what channels they pay for but Time Warner Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes says they don't know how good they have it under the current pay-television system. "I don't think it's desirable for consumers to break the bundle," Bewkes said in remarks at the UBS Media and Communications Conference in New York on Tuesday. "You end up paying more for less. " The bundle, which is industry lingo for how cable networks are packaged and sold to distributors and customers, has become a hot topic of late because of rising pay-TV bills.
November 19, 2012 | By Joe Flint
Add cable industry pioneer and Liberty Media Chairman John Malone to the growing list of people who think sports programming costs are out of control. "We've got runaway sports rights, runaway sports salaries and what is essentially a high tax on a lot of households that don't have a lot of interest in sports," Malone said in an interview. "The consumer is really getting squeezed, as is the cable operator. " Indeed, by some industry estimates sports programming now accounts for about half of the typical pay-television bill.
November 15, 2012 | By Joe Flint
The Lakers may not have Phil Jackson, but at least they have DirecTV. Ending a long standoff, satellite broadcaster DirecTV has reached an agreement to carry Time Warner Cable's SportsNet, which is the new television home for the Lakers. As part of the pact, DirecTV also is carrying Deportes, the Spanish-language sister channel of SportsNet. DirecTV subscribers began receiving the channels Thursday afternoon. Lakers fans who have DirecTV won't be the only ones cheering the decision.
November 14, 2012 | By Joe Flint and Meg James
News Corp. is in negotiations with the New York Yankees to buy a minority stake in the team's YES cable network, positioning the media company to gain a larger footprint in the increasingly lucrative realm of sports programming. Talks between News Corp. and the New York Yankees have been going on for several weeks, people with knowledge of the situation said. Under the terms being discussed, News Corp. would likely acquire the stakes in YES held by the investment bank Goldman Sachs, private equity firm Providence Equity Partners and other owners.
November 5, 2012 | By Joe Flint
Cablevision Systems Corp. has signed a long-term distribution deal to carry broadcast and cable networks owned by Comcast's NBCUniversal unit. The agreement includes broadcast networks NBC and Telemundo as well as cable channels USA, Bravo, MSNBC, CNBC and NBC Sports Network. Cablevision has more than 3 million subscribers, primarily in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The NBCUniversal accord is Cablevision's third in recent months with a major content supplier. It has also signed agreements with CBS and Walt Disney Co. All the deals were reached without customers losing any signals, which often happens during these negotiations, including when Cablevision and News Corp.
November 1, 2012 | By Joe Flint
Although the winless Lakers are hardly must-see television at the moment, that is of little solace to the millions of DirecTV and Cox subscribers who are unable to watch the team's games on their new cable home SportsNet, which is owned by Time Warner Cable. Time Warner Cable was hoping to have all its distribution agreements for SportsNet and its Spanish-language companion channel Deportes locked up by now. Deals with Charter and Verizon Fios were finished before the first Lakers game appeared on the two channels Wednesday, but both Cox and DirecTV are playing hardball.
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