MLB’s Extra Innings free preview begins Monday

Major League Baseball’s Extra Innings package that offers up to 80 out-of-market baseball games per week will offer a free preview beginning Monday.

The preview, offered by Time Warner Cable, DirecTV and Verizon FiOS, runs through Sunday, April 7.

MLB Extra Innings will showcase approximately 80 games during the first week. The full package delivers over 2,000 out-of-market baseball game telecasts during the regular season.

The early bird offer for digital customers is $189 (4 installments of $47.25), a $10 savings off of the full-season price if ordered by April 7.  The package will then be available for $199.

Time Warner Cable Desert Cities customers will receive up to 24 games in HD for the first time this season.

On the Time Warner Cable system, Extra Innings is available on channels 938-951 with the HD channels being 936 and 937.

DirecTV could drop NFL Sunday Ticket after 2014

Could every game of the NFL season be available to cable TV subscribers in a couple of seasons?

Don’t be surprised if that’s the case after the 2014 NFL season.

Since 1994, DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket has been the only option to watching every out-of-market NFL regular-season game each Sunday.

DirecTV has paid dearly for the exclusive right to broadcast Sunday Ticket. The most recent agreement, which runs through the 2014 season, costs DirecTV $4 billion.

During an investors conference call Wednesday, DirecTV CFO Pat Doyle said that if the exclusivity price goes too high when the current deal expires, DirecTV might pursue a non-exclusive deal that would allow other companies to also carry Sunday Ticket or even drop the Sunday Ticket package entirely.

So the days when hoisting a satellite dish on the rooftop was the only way to watch every NFL game might come to an end after two more seasons.

So what happens if DirecTV’s exclusivity contract ends? Well, the NFL could offer the Sunday Ticket package to rival Dish Network and cable TV companies, providing millions of television-watching households with access to every NFL game from start to finish.

Dish Network to carry Fox Sports San Diego; Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS remain holdouts

Dish Network reached an agreement Wednesday to carry Fox Sports San Diego in time for the upcoming baseball season.

The channel will launch on April 1 in time to carry the San Diego Padres’ opening-day baseball game at the New York Mets.

DISH customers  will have access to the Padres, Los Angeles Clippers and Anaheim Ducks, plus other local sports events. FOX Sports San Diego will be available for local DISH customers with the America’s Top 120 Plus and Latino Dos packages.

“We’re delighted that DISH is making Padres on FOX Sports San Diego available to their valued customers,” said Henry Ford, Senior Vice President and General Manager, FOX Sports San Diego. “On Opening Day 2013 Padres baseball will be delivered to more households than ever before.”

In the Coachella Valley, DirecTV was the only local carrier of Padres games on Fox Sports San Diego last season.

Time Warner Cable and Verizon FiOS have not reached agreements to add the channel to their lineup.

“It’s less than two months until Opening Day, and Time Warner Cable has expressed no interest in carrying the Padres in 2013,” a Fox Sports statement said Wednesday. ”We hope that Time Warner Cable comes around to see the value in the Padres just as other providers in San Diego have.  Customers can wield a great deal of influence by contacting Time Warner Cable and demanding to see the Padres in 2013.”

A Time Warner Cable spokesperson had no update to report on negotiations.

“Our offer from last year stands, it is an offer that includes a significant fee to carry the Padres,” the Time Warner Cable statement said. “Unfortunately, Fox is still demanding that we pay a nearly 400% increase over what we paid Cox for the same games two years ago.”





NBA, NHL, college basketball offer free sports previews

The NHL season begins Saturday, while the NBA and college basketball are at the halfway point to their seasons.

To spark interest in their season-long TV packages, free previews are planned for all three sports in the coming days and week on Time Warner Cable and other cable and satellite providers.

ESPN’s Full Court college basketball package is offering a free preview through Sunday. The games can be found on channels 971 through 976 on Time Warner Cable.

The NHL’s Center Ice regular-season preview launches Saturday and continues through Thursday, Jan. 31. Games can be found on Time Warner Cable channels 938-951. In addition, new HD channels for the package launched Wednesday on channels 936 and 937.

The NBA League Pass midseason free preview begins Monday and continues through Sunday, Jan. 27. The Time Warner Cable channels are 981-990, with channel 993 a new HD channels for select games on the package.

The free previews aloso are available on DirecTV, Dish Network and Verizon FiOS, though the channel numbers were not available.

DirecTV channel numbers released for Los Angeles Lakers games

Los Angeles Lakers' Dwight Howard, center, gets a rebound in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012. The Spurs won 84-82. (Jae C. Hong, The Associated Press)

The Lakers' Dwight Howard, center, gets a rebound in the second half of Tuesday's game against the San Antonio Spurs in Los Angeles. The Spurs won 84-82. (Jae C. Hong, The Associated Press)

DirecTV and Time Warner Cable have reached a deal to broadcast Los Angeles Lakers games on the company’s new cable networks SportsNet and Deportes.

The deal was officially announced Thursday afternoon. Time Warner Cable SportsNet can be seen on DirecTV channel 691, with Deportes (the Spanish-language channel) on channel 458 starting tonight.

The agreement, along with ones announced earlier with cable companies Cox and Charter and telecom distributors Verizon Fios and AT&T U-Verse, leaves Dish Network as the lone major holdout.

The Lakers’ next seven games are scheduled to air exclusively on Time Warner Cable SportsNet, including Friday’s 7:30 p.m. home game against the Phoenix Suns.


Cox adds Time Warner Cable’s Lakers Network; could DirecTV and Dish be next?

Cox Communications reached an agreement Sunday evening to pick up the new Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Deportes networks that are the new Southern California television home for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Cox, which serves areas of San Diego, Orange County and Las Vegas, became the final major cable provider in the Los Angeles market to reach terms with the networks that are five weeks old. SportsNet and Deportes are now available in about 60 percent of the L.A. TV market.

The addition of Cox, along with earlier deals with Charter, Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-Verse, means the only major holdouts currently not picking up the Lakers Network are satellite providers DirecTV and DISH Network. The addition of Cox certainly could apply more pressure to DirecTV and DISH to reach a deal soon or risk losing customers.

Time Warner Cable is the largest pay-TV provider in Southern California with 2.3 million subscribers. DirecTV follows in second with 1.7 million subscribers, and Cox ranks No. 3 with 1.2 million.

TWC SportsNet has exclusive rights to 55 of the Lakers’ 78 remaining regular-season games, including the next 11. Cox is expected to add the networks by the Lakers’ next game Wednesday against the Utah Jazz.


(Update) Verizon FiOS, Charter, AT&T U-Verse sign on for Lakers network

Verizon FiOS and Charter Communications reached agreements late Friday afternoon to carry Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes, providing subscribers with access to every Los Angeles Lakers game starting next week.

The deals, which come four days before the Lakers open the 2012-13 season, are the first major distribution deals in Southern California for the new Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Deportes channels that launched Oct. 1. On Saturday, Time Warner Cable reached an agreement with AT&T U-Verse as well.

There was no immediate word about when the networks would launch on Verizon FiOS and what channel numbers they would be. Time Warner Cable said more details about the Verizon deal would be announced in the coming days.

Until Friday’s agreements, the only fans in the desert able to watch the local Lakers broadcasts of new stars Dwight Howard and Steve Nash were Time Warner Cable customers.

The addition of Verizon FiOS and Charter could be a sign that more deals might be around the corner with other television providers such as DirecTV, Dish Network and Cox Communications. Charter has 360,000 subscribers in the Southern California area. It is not known how many Verizon customers are in the desert.

Southern California cable and satellite operators had balked at paying the average monthly fee of $3.95 per subscriber that Time Warner Cable reportedly was charging for the two regional sports networks.

Earlier this week, both DirecTV and Cox said they want to add the channel on a speciality sports tier that subscribers would pay to receive. Time Warner Cable wants the two networks to be broadcast on a more widely distributed package.

SportsNet and Deportes will broadcast their first Lakers game Wednesday against Portland. Time Warner Cable SportsNet will exclusively carry 53 of the Lakers’ 82 games. The rest are national games that will be telecast by ESPN, TNT and ABC.

In the desert, SportsNet and Deportes are available on Time Warner Cable channels 403 and 481 in HD and 28 and 35 in standard.

Update on negotiations for new Time Warner Cable Lakers Network

The NBA season is less than a week away and fans of the Los Angeles Lakers are increasingly concerned whether or not they will be able to catch Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Dwight Howard & Co. on TV.

If you are a Time Warner Cable customer in Southern California, then you have nothing to worry about. You will see all 82 Lakers games this season. The new Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes stations are available on your channel lineup.

If you get your TV programming courtesy of DirecTV, Dish Network, Verizon FiOS or on Cox Communications outside of the Coachella Valley, then you are probably worried as talks appear headed down to the wire.

Time Warner Cable is seeking as much as $3.95 for SportsNet and Deportes (the Spanish-language sports channel). Earlier Wednesday, Cox Communications said its offer to carry the new networks on a specialty tier along with other sports programming was turned down.

Time Warner Cable Sports released a statement Wednesday evening concerning negotiations, responding directly to earlier statements from DirecTV and Cox Communications.

Here’s the statement from Time Warner Cable Sports:

“With the Los Angeles Lakers, LA Galaxy and Los Angeles Sparks, two networks and unprecedented behind-the-scenes programming, Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes are delivering tremendous value for Southern California sports fans. Any assertion that we are the highest priced regional sports outlet in the country is simply untrue; as a significant buyer of regional sports across the country, we know that there are higher priced regional sports networks, including Root Sports that we buy from DirecTV. Cox and DirecTV know that there is no regional sports network anywhere in the country that is offered on an optional tier — that would be unprecedented. If Cox or DirecTV choose not to carry our networks, we and their customers will be very disappointed but we are confident there will be other alternatives for their customers to see this highly-anticipated Lakers season.”

Under a 20-year deal that begins this season, Time Warner Cable paid about $3 billion for the rights to Lakers games, to be broadcast on its new regional networks.

National networks ESPN, ABC and TNT will broadcast a combined 25 regular-season Lakers games this season. That means 57 Lakers games will be exclusively carried on the new Time Warner Cable SportsNet.

The Lakers open the season Tuesday, Oct. 30 at Staples Center against the Dallas Mavericks. That game will air on TNT. However, the next night, Time Warner Cable SportsNet is the only place to catch the second game of the season at Portland on Halloween.


USC to make another appearance on Pac-12 Networks

No. 11-ranked USC will make its second appearance on the Pac-12 Networks this season.

The Pac-12 Conference announced its Week 8 football doubleheader for Oct. 20, featuring Colorado at USC at 3 p.m., followed by the Arizona Wildcats facing the Washington Huskies at 7 p.m.

The matchups mark the second and third appearance for USC and Arizona football programs, respectively on Pac-12 Networks this season

Colorado-USC will be called by Kevin Calabro, alongside Adam Archuleta in the booth and Yogi Roth on the sidelines, while the team of Ted Robinson (play-by-play), Glenn Parker (analyst) and Ryan Nece (sideline) handle the announcing duties for Washington vs. Arizona.

The Trojans are currently 4-1 following a 38-28 victory at Utah on Oct. 4 and make their return to the Coliseum against Colorado after back-to-back road games at Utah and at Washington on Saturday.

Pac-12 Networks pregame coverage Oct. 20 will begin at 2:00 p.m.

In the desert, the Pac-12 Networks are only available on Time Warner Cable and Dish Network. DirecTV and Verizon FiOS have not reached an agreement to broadcast the Pac-12 Networks.

Time Warner Cable SportsNet plans weekly Lakers documentary and reality series

Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Deportes launch at 7 p.m. Monday, and the two networks have shared more details about special programming they will gear around the Los Angeles Lakers.

The new networks plan a weekly documentary called “Backstage: Lakers” that will provide fans with behind-the-scenes access to the Lakers organization nas well as its players on and off the court.  The show debuts at 9 p.m. Monday, the network’s opening night.

In addition, “Lakers Girls” is a new reality series that chronicles the selection process of the team’s icponic dance squad and explores how to make the cut. It debuts at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes can be found in HD on channel 403 and 481, respectively, on Time Warner Cable systems.

Negotiations continue with other providers such as DirecTV, Dish Network and Verizon FiOS, but no deals have been announced.

Here’s the complete release about the new programming:





El Segundo, CA (September 26, 2012) – Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes will launch on October 1, giving fans insider access into the Lakers organization through two original unscripted series about the team. “Backstage: Lakers” and “Laker Girls” will provide an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the season while it unfolds and the making of the team’s iconic dance squad.

“The Lakers have given us unprecedented access to take viewers where they typically aren’t allowed, which is exactly what we envisioned when we decided to launch these networks,” said David Rone, President, Time Warner Cable Sports. “These initial series, ‘Backstage: Lakers’ and ‘Laker Girls,’ represent that vision.”

“We have one of the strongest fan bases in professional sports and Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes will give our fans the access to the Lakers that they crave,” said Jeanie Buss, Executive Vice President, Business Operations, Los Angeles Lakers. “We’ve had an exciting offseason and can’t wait to see this team on our new local TV home.”

“Backstage: Lakers” (titled “Lakers Confidencial” on Time Warner Cable Deportes) will chronicle the Lakers season from start to finish, taking viewers into the locker room, executive offices and other previously off-limits areas to see the team’s key players and personalities make the decisions that affect the outcome of the season. The premiere episode takes fans from the end of the 2011-12 season in Oklahoma City to the start of 2012-13 training camp, gives an inside look at the arrival of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard and examines fan reactions to the Lakers’ headline-making offseason. “Backstage: Lakers” is a weekly 30-minute documentary that debuts on October 1, the networks’ opening night, at 9:00 p.m.* and new episodes will air every week for the entirety of the Lakers season. October’s episodes are as follows:

“Backstage: Lakers” episode 1 – OPENING NIGHT, Monday, October 1, 9:00 p.m.

“Backstage: Lakers” episode 2 – Wednesday, October 10, 5:00 p.m.

“Backstage: Lakers” episode 3 – Wednesday, October 17, 5:00 p.m.

“Backstage: Lakers” episode 4 – Wednesday, October 24, 5:00 p.m.

“Backstage: Lakers” episode 5 – Wednesday, October 31, 5:00 p.m.


“Laker Girls” (also titled “Laker Girls” on Time Warner Cable Deportes) provides an in-depth profile of the making of the 2012-13 squad and its members. Fans will learn first-hand about the fierce competition to make the iconic dance squad, from open call tryouts attracting more than 500 women to a behind-the-scenes peek at opening night at STAPLES Center. The “Laker Girls” reality series is made up of five one-hour episodes and debuts on October 2 at 8:00 p.m., with the full series airing as follows:

“Laker Girls” episode 1 – Tuesday, October 2, 8:00 p.m.

“Laker Girls” episode 2 – Tuesday, October 9, 9:00 p.m.

“Laker Girls” episode 3 – Wednesday, October 17, 9:00 p.m.

“Laker Girls” episode 4 – Tuesday, October 23, 9:00 p.m.

“Laker Girls” episode 5 – Finale, Tuesday, November 6, 9:00 p.m.

Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes can be found in HD on channel 403 and 481, respectively, on Time Warner Cable systems. Negotiations with other providers to carry the networks are ongoing but have not yet concluded. To find out if your provider will be carrying the networks starting October 1, visit or