Time Warner Cable Sports has scored some big wins in the distribution expansion of its newly launched regional networks. It has signed carriage deals with several television service providers, bringing Time Warner Cable Deportes and Time Warner Cable SportsNet into hundreds of thousands of more homes in California.
The regional Spanish-language sports network, launched Oct. 1 in California, will now also be seen on Charter Cable, AT&T U-verse and soon on Verizon FiOS.
Time Warner, a cable operator itself, bought the regional TV rights to L.A. Lakers games last year for an estimated $3 billion over 20 years. The sports nets will carry over 50 Lakers games this season, as well as Galaxy and Sparks games. TW Deportes will air all Lakers and Galaxy games entirely in Spanish.
But the deals with Charter, AT&T and Verizon aren’t enough for Time Warner to offset the cost of what it paid for the Lakers rights. Even though it has over 2 million subscribers in Southern California, it needs the largest distribution possible to earn more advertising dollars.
Cox Cable and DirectTV are still holding out, apparently over high subscriber costs, according to the LA Times. DirecTV has 1.7 million and Cox has about 1.2 million subscribers.