Distrib deals still to be negotiated
Time Warner Cable Sports’ two new cable channels centered around the Los Angeles Lakers will launch Oct. 1, the company announced.Named Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes, the English- and Spanish-language channels will include full coverage of the Lakers’ 2012-13 season, as well as the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks and Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Galaxy. More than 120 live sports events have already been placed on a slate that will also include high school sports, in addition to supplemental non-event programming that will include daily local sports news, a daily soccer news show and other sports including boxing and lucha libre. “Our networks are created around live coverage of some of the region’s signature franchises and represent a 24/7 commitment to give fans more access and insight than they have ever seen before,” Time Warner Cable Sports prexy David Rone said. The Lakers’ first preseason game of 2012-13 is scheduled for Oct. 7, The English and Spanish broadcasts of the Lakers and Galaxy will feature separate production teams, talent and graphics. Bill MacDonald and Stu Lantz will be the announcers for one channel, Adrian Garcia Marquez and Francisco Pinto for the other. Andy Adler will anchor nightly studio programming, while Heidi Watney has also been tapped as a reporter. While the channels are already set to air on Time Warner Cable at launch, outside distribution deals for the network still remain to be neogtiated. Time Warner is also expected to make a play for post-2013 rights to the Los Angeles Dodgers, to give the networks a content anchor in the warm-weather months. Fox, which will have an exclusive negotiating window to the Dodgers, is the main competition.