Finnerty had the distinct disadvantage of having to negotiate a deal while an entire city of Lakers fans — or, more specifically, 1.2 million DirecTV customers — were looking over his shoulder in disdain. After the Lakers signed a $3 billion deal with Time Warner Cable, Finnerty was put on the spot to make sure Time Warner Cable, in turn, made a smart financial pact with DirecTV to televise the games. All the parties finally came to an agreement on Nov. 15, about two weeks after the season began, while Lakers fans waited in rage. At issue was Time Warner Cable’s reported demand for a monthly per-subscriber fee of approximately $4, which DirecTV was reluctant to absorb or pass on to its subscribers. “My belief is that live regional sports is the primary driver of the pay television universe,” says TWC senior VP and g.m. Mark Shuken. While everyone had hoped the deal would be complete by Nov. 1, the extra time was necessary. “We had really good conversations with DirecTV before that (deadline), but for such a significant agreement we had to get through everything first. … What we want people to understand is that to create value with everyone involved (including original programming surrounding games), these costs are true, reasonable and fair.”
Outside the office: Soccer; playing with his kids.
Top cause: March of Dimes