TWC signs Bright House to carry new SoCal regional sports nets
Gabriel Miramar-Garcia | 07-10-2012

Just as the FCC's requirement for cablecos to share their regional sports content with rivals has been sunsetted, Time Warner Cable has signed Bright House Networks as its first affiliate for its new Southern California regional sports networks (RSNs), Time Warner Cable SportsNet and TimeWarner Cable Deportes.

Bright House has made the nets available to California subscribers in the Bakersfield area. Both channels are heavily Lakers-focused, with a 20-year exclusive deal for local broadcast of the games; the latter is the country's first Spanish-language RSN.

Bright House is offering the two in both standard-definition and high-definition to customers of its 'Variety' levels of service. Time Warner Cable SportsNet is on SD channel 113 and HD channel 1113, while Time Warner Cable Deportes is located on SD channel 631 and HD channel 1631. Time Warner Cable SportsNet will also be available to Bright House's analog customers on channel 23, starting on 30 October.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

RSNs are at the heart of a rule-change by the FCC, which previously prevented exclusive programming deals between U.S. cable companies and the channels that they own. Now, cablecos are no longer specifically required to sell their must-have content to satellite and telco rivals at reasonable rates. While that has prompted fears that MSOs could deny access to RSNs as a competitive strong-arm tactic, the cable companies have maintained that the carriage fees and advertising revenue is hearty incentive to licence the programming to other pay-TV providers.

"Our partners at Bright House Networks value Southern California sports as much as we do and we're excited to work with them to bring Lakers, Galaxy and Sparks games and programming to our viewers," said David Rone, president, Time Warner Cable Sports. "We're extremely happy to work with Bright House Networks to bring sports fans in Southern California Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes."

In addition to live games, programming on Time Warner Cable SportsNet includes Access SportsNet, the network's signature daily studio show that encompasses pre- and post-game shows as Access SportsNet: Lakers and Access SportsNet: Galaxy as well as #LakeShow, the network's live daily social media-driven show. Original programming on Time Warner Cable SportsNet includes Backstage: Lakers (titled Lakers Confidencial on Time Warner Cable Deportes), a weekly documentary that chronicles the Lakers season from start to finish, and Laker Girls (also titled Laker Girls on Time Warner Cable Deportes), a five-part reality series that profiles the making of the 2012-13 squad and its members.

On Time Warner Cable Deportes, programming includes the Lakers En Vivo pre-game show and Somos Lakers post-game show, as well as Somos Lakers éné-bé-a, a weekly show dedicated to the latest on the Lakers and the NBA that will include highlights, live interviews, commentary and other special segments. Encuentro Deportivo and Tu Show del Fútbol are daily shows on the network, with Encuentro Deportivo wrapping up the day in sports with a regional focus and Tu Show del Fútbol analyzing the day in soccer. #LAPREPA is a weekly show that features inspirational stories about high school sports.