LA heat as Time Warner Cable strikes out at DirecTV, Cox in sports coverage row

Editor | 25-10-2012

To death and taxes perhaps US retrans rows can be added as certainties in life and the latest of these is a dispute concerning Time Warner Cable (TWC), DirectTV and Cox Cable that has descended into a slanging match.

On the eve of the opening of the basketball season in the United States, TWC—who owns the rights to show games of Los Angeles basketball behemoths the LA Laker as well as those of games of David Beckham’s LA Galaxy football team and the Los Angeles Sparks has yet to have agreed carriage deals with some of the leading platform operators in the southern California and LA area.

In particular it has failed to sign a deal with Cox Cable, who has over a million customers in the area, and DirectTV and Dish Network with local reports suggesting the operators rejected TWC’s demand s for as much as $4 per customers from monthly subs fees.

Yet dismissing allegations of avarice, TWC has hit back with a statement suggesting that with the Los Angeles Lakers, LA Galaxy and Los Angeles Sparks, two networks and unprecedented behind-the-scenes programming, Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes are delivering “tremendous value” for Southern California sports fans.

It added: “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. If Cox or DirecTV choose not to carry our networks, we and their customers will be very disappointed but we are confident there will be other alternatives for their customers to see this highly-anticipated Lakers season.”