SBD/October 25, 2012/Media

TWC Rebuffs Cox Cable's Offer To Carry SportsNet, Desportes On Specialty Tier

Cox Cable yesterday said that its offer to carry Time Warner Cable SportsNet and the Spanish-language TWC Deportes "on a specialty tier along with other sports channels was rebuffed," according to Joe Flint of the L.A. TIMES. Cox in a statement said, "We are committed to meeting the needs of all Cox customers, not just sports fans." The company added, "The price for the Lakers is one of the highest wholesale prices that we have seen." Flint notes Cox "has 1.2 million subscribers in Southern California," and TWC is "seeking as much as $3.95 per-month, per-subscriber for the two channels." Cox Senior VP/California Operations Dave Bialis said, "I think it is extremely expensive for basically a one-team channel." Flint writes although Cox "offered to make the two channels available on an a la carte basis," TWC has "consistently said that it wants the channels available to as many homes as possible and not sold separately." If TWC "doesn't get deals done soon, millions of Lakers fans will be missing a lot of basketball" (L.A. TIMES, 10/25). TWC in a statement responded, "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. Cox and DirecTV know that there is no regional sports network anywhere in the country that is offered on an optional tier -- that would be unprecedented" (THE DAILY).

DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC? In L.A., Tom Hoffarth notes Basketball HOFer and Dodgers investor Magic Johnson "offered his reassurance that he believes something will get done with deals involving DirecTV, Dish, Charter, Cox, Verizon FiOS and AT&T Uverse leading up to the Lakers' regular-season opener next week." Johnson said, "I believe they're working on it for all the fans. I hope it happens soon because the hype for this team and the anticipation is so off the charts" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 10/25).
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