Fox Sports San Diego Inks Deal With AT&T U-Verse; Talks Ongoing With Dish
FS San Diego has "inked a deal with previous hold-out AT&T U-Verse," according to Mike Freeman of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE. Terms of the deal "were not disclosed," but U-Verse "will include Fox Sports San Diego for existing customers who subscribe to its U100 TV rate plan or higher." Meanwhile, talks are reportedly "ongoing between" Fox Sports and Dish Network. Time Warner Cable, with "roughly 200,000 local subscribers," is the "largest pay TV provider in the county still not carrying the network" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 10/6). In L.A., Joe Flint wrote, "That AT&T has wrapped up an agreement for Fox Sports San Diego before SportsNet and Deportes has some Time Warner Cable executives shaking their heads." Cost "clearly isn't an issue." Sources said that FS San Diego is "over $4 per subscriber per month while Time Warner Cable's is $3.95." AT&T U-Verse "has about 425,000 subscribers" in the L.A. area (LATIMES.com, 10/6). Meanwhile, four days after the Oct. 1 launch of Time Warner Cable SportsNet and the Spanish-language TWC Deportes, the company "announced a deal with Bright House Networks" (CABLEFAX DAILY, 10/8).
TAKERS FOR THE LAKERS? In L.A., Bill Plaschke wrote of TWC SportsNet holding the Lakers' TV rights, "As of now, the majority of the games played this season by the new-look, buzz-soaring, championship-or-bust Lakers will not be seen in the majority of Los Angeles households." TWC has been "unable to convince the area's other giant television providers to run their two channels." Providers such as DirecTV, Charter, Dish, Cox, Verizon and AT&T U-Verse are "holding out for a better deal." Even the Lakers "can't watch the Lakers," as the TV provider "for their El Segundo headquarters building is DirecTV." Lakers Exec VP/Business Operations Jeanie Buss said, "I've been a DirecTV customer for years, so I understand what everyone is going through. The providers have to decide whether they want to take our channel, and it's the customers who have to be vocal in letting their provider know they want it." Plaschke: "I've also been a DirecTV customer for years. It was sold to me as the cornerstone for sports channels. ... For them to waste this much time haggling over the hottest sports property among their 1.7 million Los Angeles households is insulting" (L.A. TIMES, 10/7).