Tony Pierce / KPCC
Lakers fans may have to leave their homes to watch their team play since it may not air via cable or dish any time soon this season.
Time Warner Cable SportsNet took a shot from Cox Cable Wednesday when it was accused of charging the most expensive prices in the U.S. for broadcasting Laker games. Currently Laker games are blacked out from San Diego to Fresno (and from Hawaii to Nevada) until carriers such as DirecTV and Cox reach agreements with TWC SportsNet.
"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," Cox wrote to its customers yesterday afternoon.
But late Wednesday night TWC SportsNet, who paid $3.6 billion to have the rights to the Lakers for the next 20 years, fired back arguing that they do not have the most expensive rates for others to broadcast the games.
"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," TWC wrote in a statement.
TWC also addressed the criticism that Cox leveled regarding a optional tier. Cox said it would be interested in putting Lakers games on such a tier so that those customers who wanted to pay for it could do so at an additional price, but said that TWC wouldn't allow such a thing.
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"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," TWC wrote.
Perhaps Time Warner was referring to our list of alternative ways people could see the Lakers if the negotiations break down.