It was a deal that was supposed to raise the Lakers level of exposure. Instead the exact opposite has happened thus far.
Time Warner’s lucrative deal with the Lakers is making headlines for all the wrong reasons leading up to the start of the regular season. Bars are bemoaning the loss of. Meanwhile many fans around the country are being left in the dark as well as a deal has yet to be worked out with any of the satellite providers.
Perhaps the absence of the new SportsNet channel was a blessing in disguise. As a Time Warner subscriber I sat through most of the agonizing play that highlighted the Lakers’ winless preseason. I’ve got to be honest. If I didn’t see a single second of many of those painful contests I have no doubt I’d be a better person today.
Hyperbole aside, the Lakers can’t enter the regular season with more than half of their games unavailable to the vast majority. That’s just lunacy.
Fortunately some deals are imminent. Time Warner has announced agreements with Charter and Verizon FiOS. That’s a nice start but it still leaves much to be desired. As pointed out by Joe Flint of the L.A. Times, a large chunk of SoCal relies on Cox Cable and DirecTV for their Lakers outlets. Currently nothing is in place with either provider though there are reports of on-going discussions.
For a longtime Time Warner subscriber such as myself it’s refreshing to finally see some benefit to the monthly bill. With the Lakers fully available for viewing in my crib and NFL Network on the air as well this is turning into the golden era for TW Cable. But my selfish victory belies the fact that the best hoops franchise in the history of the game is largely invisible to the overwhelming majority. Something’s got to give…soon.