SportsNet L.A. Goes Live Today, Still Seeking Distribution Deals
Time Warner Cable SportsNet L.A. goes live tonight, and the Dodgers-focused RSN "added Bright House Networks to its distribution roster" in time for launch. The channel will be available to Bright House customers in Bakersfield, Calif. Affiliate terms "were not disclosed." Negotiations with "other key distributors," including DirecTV, Cox, Charter, AT&T U-verse, Verizon FiOS and Dish Network, "have yet to yield carriage contracts" (MULTICHANNEL.com, 2/24).
The "issue holding up distribution is price." There is "plenty of time" for TWC to strike deals before the MLB season, but many distributors "seem prepared to go without ... at least under the terms currently offered" (L.A. TIMES, 2/25). A source said that TWC is seeking $4.50-5.00 a month per subscriber, but that the "fees rapidly climb in subsequent years." SportsNet L.A. will become the eighth RSN in Southern California (Palm Springs DESERT SUN, 2/25).
The L.A. DAILY NEWS runs an FAQ about the launch of the RSN.