With Time Warner Cable’s SportsNet and Deportes channels set to debut on October 1, there are still no current deals in place that would allow any other pay-TV provider to have access to the channel.
As I detailed in a previous article, there are positive and negative aspects of the deal the Lakers struck with TWC.
Right now, the main negative is that no subscribers other than TWC subscribers can watch Lakers games.
As for what you’ll be missing on the debut of SportsNet? According to TVWeek, SportsNet will kick off their programming with a two-hour live edition of the show “Access SportsNet,” which will feature Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, and L.A. Galaxy superstar David Beckham as in-studio guests. There will surely be more overall coverage of the Lakers and ongoing analysis of the team as well.
Currently, there are approximately 3 million households with a pay-TV service other than TWC, with DirecTV holding over 1 million of those accounts; according to Tom Hoffarth of Daily News, Los Angeles.
Plenty of folks will have to resort to occupying bars and restaurants to watch the games, but many of these establishments don’t have access to TWC, either–which could have an immediate impact on the local economy.
Others will resort to streaming the games online, illegally.
However, the off-court Lakers coverage SportsNet will carry on a daily basis won’t be available online (okay, maybe on YouTube), and no one is going to spend money at a bar just to watch some of the other programming. For diehard fans who truly bleed purple and gold, these types of “all access” shows are just what they’ve been waiting for.
Personally, I’m getting extremely anxious about not being able to watch the Lakers on my own TV, and TWC isn’t even offered in the general vicinity in which I live.
I’m sure that all pay-TV providers are currently in negotiations with TWC, but it’s up to the fans to put pressure on both sides of the spectrum to ensure that deals get done across Southern California.
So, once again, I implore all of Lakers Nation to go to iwantmylakers.com and demand that your pay-TV provider get a deal done ASAP with TWC, and continue to Tweet with the hashtag #iwantmylakers or the one that I personally created, #idemandmylakers.
In case you missed it – Take a tour of the Time Warner Cable SportsNet/Deportes Studios!