AirTalk for January 28, 2014

Time Warner launches SportsNet LA for Dodgers ball -- will cable and satellite providers buy in?

Pittsburgh Pirates v Los Angeles Dodgers

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Dodger fans look at fly over the stadium by F-18 fighter jets from Naval Air Station Lemoore during pregame ceremonies during the home opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates begin as the season-long celebration of Dodger Stadium's 50th anniversary kicks off on April 10, 2012.

Time Warner Cable launched the site for their exclusive Dodgers network. The channel’s television debut is set for February 25th, just before the Dodgers begin their spring training games.

As part of their $8.5 billion dollar deal with the Dodgers, Time Warner has sole access to games and behind-the-scenes coverage -- the cable provider is responsible for securing deals with other cable and satellite operators to air the channel.

SportsNet LA is expected to cost about $5 per subscriber. Negotiations over pricing and subscription levels have begun already and may last until just before opening day. Time Warner struck similar deals with providers for their Lakers channel.

How do  cable and satellite operators negotiate contracts when one provider has exclusive access to a channel? What is fair to consumers when it comes to pricing?


Courtney M. Brunious, Associate Director of the University of Southern California's Sports Business Institute.

Michael Grebb, Executive Editor, CableFAX

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