DISH Picks Up Hornets RSN

DISH Network scored a deal with Cox Sports Television that will give customers of the satellite TV service in the New Orleans region access to New Orleans Hornets basketball games.

The deal runs through 2010, the Hornets organization said.

As part of the deal, DISH Network customers within 75 miles of New Orleans and Baton Rouge can watch Hornets games through the DBS provider's carriage of Cox Sports Television. The agreement will extend the network's viewership to the Louisiana parishes of Jefferson, Orleans, Lafource, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne and Washington, as well as the Mississippi counties of Hancock, Harrison and Pearl River, the Hornets said.

The deal could be a bonus for DISH Network given that Charter Communications, which provides service to areas outside of New Orleans, doesn't carry the Cox sports programming.

"I hope that (the DISH Network) announcement will spur Charter to have continued talks with Cox in order to reach an agreement," said New Orleans City Council President Arnie Fielkow, who has been active in discussions to make Hornets games available to a wider audience in the Gulf South.

The Cox/Hornets channel launches today on DISH Network.