About 750,000 Southern Californian cable households can breathe a sigh of relief as the Lakers will now be shown in the homes of those who have Charter Cable and Verizon FIOS.
Time Warner Cable announced Friday that the two TV providers have agreed to their terms to carry the recenetly launched Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Spanish-language sports channel Time Warner Cable Deportes which broadcasts Lakers and Sparks basketball games as well as L.A. Galaxy soccer matches.
The announcement came just four days before the Lakers' NBA season tips off.
"We are proud of Charter’s robust selection of sports programming," said Allan Singer, Charter’s Senior Vice President of Programming in a statement. "Charter is the first provider of this brand new programming in our service areas, and we know that the addition of these networks especially pleases our customers in Southern California.”
Charter has about 290,000 subscribers in Southern California.
“Southern California sports are important to our partners at Charter and we’re excited to work with them to bring Lakers, Galaxy and Sparks games and programming to their customers and our viewers,” said Dan Finnerty, Senior Vice President, Time Warner Cable Sports.
Later in the day Time Warner announced it had also agreed to terms with Verizon FiOS to provide SportsNet. Verizon has about 461,000 subscribers to its service.
According to the Associated Press, there are also nearly 700,000 TV households in the L.A. area that get their signals for free via traditional antennas that will lose access to the Lakers' away games this year unless they opt to pay for TV.
Earlier this month, Time Warner signed up partner Bright House Networks, which only has a few thousand subscribers in Bakersfield.
Time Warner Cable still needs to work out deals with several other broadcasters including Cox Cable, DirecTV and Dish.
This week Cox Cable publicly bristled at TMC's demands for carrying the re-tooled team, complaing that "the price for the Lakers is one of the highest wholesale prices that we have seen."
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TWC fired back later that day defending its pricing.
"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.
DirecTV and Cox also argued that they wanted to provide the Lakers on a different pricing tier, but TWC denied that request claiming it would be unprecidented.
TWC SportsNet paid $3.6 billion to have the rights to the Lakers for the next 20 years in a coverage area that spreads from San Diego to Fresno out to Nevada to Hawaii.