The distribution dominoes continued to fall for Time Warner Cable’s Los Angeles market sports channel, with AT&T U-Verse the latest to reach a carriage agreement.
AT&T is the third distributor to sign a deal for Time Warner Cable Sports Net and its sister Spanish language RSN Time Warner Cable Deportes. On Friday, Charter Communications and Verizon FiOs signed similar deals.
The networks are the local TV homes for the NBA Los Angeles Lakers, MLS LA Galaxy and WNBA Los Angeles Sparks. U-Verse will launch the channels on Oct. 30 to its customers in Southern California (Los Angeles, San Diego, Bakersfield and much of Fresno) with the U100 package and above on channel 1777 in HD and channel 777 in SD. Time Warner Cable Deportes will be available in the U300 package or U-Latino package on channel 1778 in HD and channel 778 in SD.
The agreement puts added pressure on other multichannel video service providers in the area – notable Cox Communications which has about 1.2 million customers in the area and DirecTV, with 1.7 million subscribers in the market. Cox had said earlier that it was in conversations with TWC about the sports network and was confident it could reach a deal soon. DirecTV did not respond to a request for comment. But time is running out – the Lakers’ regular season begins on Oct. 30 with a game against the Dallas Mavericks on TNT, with Time Warner Cable Sports Net airing the team’s Oct. 31 contest against the Portland Trailblazers.
“AT&T U-verse is thrilled to bring Lakers, Galaxy and Sparks games and other exciting content to U-verse TV customers in Southern California,” said AT&T Home Solutions president of content and advertising sales Jeff Weber in a statement. “Many of our customers are passionate about Los Angeles sports, and we’re pleased to be able to deliver the content they want.”
“We’re excited to work with AT&T U-verse to give our viewers and their customers in Southern California more access to the Lakers, Galaxy and Sparks than they’ve had before,” said Time Warner Cable Sports senior vice president Dan Finnerty in a statement. “Southern California sports fans will now have more choices to watch Lakers, Galaxy and Sparks games and behind-the-scenes programming on Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes.”