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New Lakers Channel Could Box Out Tri-County Fans

The 2012-13 NBA season tips off on Tuesday, October 30, and that means Lakers basketball is back!With new additions to the team in Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, this Lakers season could be one to watch closely.Unless your cable provider is anything but Time Warner Cable. The new SportsNet channel is the exclusive home for 53 of the “Lake Shows” 82 regular season games. Time Warner Cable has not worked out a deal with either Cox or DIRECTV, and that means most of the Tri-Counties won’t be able to watch the Lakers on Time Warner Cable SportsNet.People close to the negotiations say Time Warner Cable wants $3.95 per subscriber, per month for SportsNet.Cox and DIRECTV say they offered to carry SportsNet on a specialty tier of sports. But Time Warner Cable won’t take that offer.Time Warner Cable Statement:”With the Los Angeles Lakers, LA Galaxy and Los Angeles Sparks, two networks and unprecedented behind-the-scenes programming, Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes are delivering tremendous value for Southern California sports fans. Any assertion that we are the highest priced regional sports outlet in the country is simply untrue; as a significant buyer of regional sports across the country, we know that there are higher priced regional sports networks, including Root Sports that we buy from DirecTV. Cox and DirecTV know that there is no regional sports network anywhere in the country that is offered on an optional tier — that would be unprecedented. If Cox or DirecTV choose not to carry our networks, we and their customers will be very disappointed but we are confident there will be other alternatives for their customers to see this highly-anticipated Lakers season.”Cox Cable statement:”The price for the Lakers is one of the highest wholesale prices that we have seen, especially when you consider it on a “per game” basis: only 53 of the of the Lakers’ 82 regular season games will be exclusively available on TWC SportsNet. The additional 29 games will be available on broadcast and other cable networks including ABC, ESPN and TNT, which are already available on Cox’s lineup.We have offered to carry their channels on our optional digital tiers, which would enable those who want to pay for the programming to have it. That offer has been refused.We are working through the negotiations process with Time Warner Cable SportsNet and hope we can come to an agreement that does not burden our customers with excessive price increases.As we do with all programming negotiations, we will continue to work through the negotiations process and fight on behalf of our customers to protect the value of the products and services we provide.Currently, only Time Warner Cable and customers of Bright House Networks have access to TWC SportsNet and TW Deportes programming. TWC SportsNet has not secured carriage agreements with any other TV provider.”

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