When the Lakers take on the Phoenix Suns Friday night, fans who speak Korean will be able to listen to the broadcast for the first time in their language.
It marks the start of a partnership between Time Warner Cable Sports and Radio Seoul to offer Korean-language secondary audio programming for the games on English-language television. While Spanish-language programming of this sort is pretty commonplace, it's been hard to find Korean until now.
Time Warner Cable SportsNet will feature the Korean-language programming, with sportswriter and commentator Paul Lee calling the live games. The regional network that launched last month carries Lakers, LA Galaxy and Los Angeles Sparks games.
Sports in Spanish, Korean and English? How very L.A. As Time Warner Cable Sports president David Rone said in a press release: "...we're able to speak to Southern California fans in their own languages and include them in a way they've never been included before."
Expect more on this in the coming week. Meanwhile, the Lakers are getting the word out with a statement in English and Korean on the team's site. The Lakers' Korean-speaking fans extend well beyond the immigrant community; check out this video of the warm welcome to Kobe Bryant last year in Seoul, where he conducted a basketball mini-clinic with some young local players.