LA Lakers: Don’t Expect Time Warner to Budge Before First Preseason Game Oct. 7

The media stalemate between Time Warner—exclusive owners of all things Lakers for the next 20 years—and every other cable/satellite provider continues unabated with both sides failing to reach distribution agreements. Sadly, fans should not expect a resolution before the Lakers' first preseason game October 7.

Why won't distribution deals be inked before Lakers games actually begin?

"As for Time Warner getting the distribution deals done, they've advised us from the start that situations like this typically go down to the wire, so it's not something unexpected by us." 

This coming from John Black, Lakers VP of Public Relations and head Lakers spokesman (via

Black continues:

"We have full confidence in [Time Warner] that they will get the distribution done and that eventually, the service they provide to Lakers fans will be the best ever, and worth the growing pains we're going through at this time."

The Lakers-Time Warner media marriage can be compared to the situation that unfolded in New York thirteen years ago. YES Networks—owners of both the New York Yankees' and New Jersey Nets' broadcasting rights—was founded to provide leverage in media rights negotiations and to create original programming surrounding these teams.

YES Networks was met with controversy and dispute from all major carriers at the time for the same reason Time Warner and the Lakers are running into distribution roadblocks: pricing.

In order to get the carriers to play ball, it took a healthy dose of arm twisting. YES Networks resorted to a lengthy blackout of Yankees games before entering into a long-term carriage agreement with Cablevision in 2004. Since the dispute, YES Networks has gone nearly a decade without blacking out any of its cable affiliates.

So when TWC SportsNet and TWC Deportes officially launch October 1, don't exp...

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