As initially reported in MediaDailyNews on November
16, DirecTV, whose CEO suggested the asking price was indicative of out-of-control carriage fees, has inked a deal to carry the Los Angeles Lakers-focused regional sports network, Time Warner
Cable SportsNet. The deal also includes a Spanish-language version.
DirecTV’s CEO Mike White was frustrated by the affiliate fees that network owner Time Warner Cable was seeking, calling out an “example of how broken the system is.”
DirecTV, however, owns several regional sports networks under a Root Sports umbrella. TWC executive Melinda Witmer said recently: “Time Warner Cable pays a whole lot more for Root Sports than we’ve asked them to pay for the Lakers ... the system’s broken, and it’s a mess when it’s not their product.”
The network is available in Southern California, Las Vegas and Hawaii. Fellow satellite operator Dish Network remains a holdout with TWC SportsNet. Cable operators Charter and Cox have signed on, as have Verizon and AT&T.
There was some uproar among Lakers fans who have DirecTV and were deprived of team games, although the Lakers have been struggling.
Dan York, chief content officer, stated that the company was "happy to have arrived at an outcome that benefits everyone involved.”