SBD/May 31, 2012/Media

Time Warner Establishes Prices For L.A. Sports Networks Launching Later This Year

Time Warner Cable has put a price to its planned RSNs in L.A., as cable systems within the L.A. DMA would pay $3.95 per subscriber per month, according to a source who has seen the offer sheet. Cable systems in outlying areas -- north to Fresno, south to San Diego, east to the Arizona border and west to Hawaii -- would pay $1.25. TWC execs would not comment on the price, but TWC Sports President David Rone said the value to distributors comes from the fact that it is launching two channels: Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes. "These services are singular services," Rone told THE DAILY. "They are singular networks." The channels are scheduled to launch Oct. 1, with a programming lineup that will rely heavily on the Lakers. "Between October and June, we will have Lakers-centric nightly programming each of those nights," Rone said. That includes pre- and postgame shows, even when the Lakers game is on another network. It also includes Lakers shows on nights when the team is not playing. The Spanish-language channel will have a nightly soccer show. Rone said he is on the lookout for more local sports rights, including college rights, but he would not specify which ones. "It's a competitive market," he said. He also said TWC would welcome a bid on the Dodgers TV rights when those come up. "We are hopeful that we will have an opportunity to speak with the new ownership," he said. "Those are conversations we are interested in having and prepared to have." TWC has around 2 million subscribers in Southern California, which accounts for 40% of the pay-TV market in the L.A. market. The channels will be carried in those homes at launch. It is standard in the cable industry to wait until just before or just after a channel's launch to cut a carriage deal.
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