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.”





Dodgers, Time Warner Cable announce new channel: SportsNet LA

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Time Warner Cable officially announced their television deal Monday morning and the creation of the new channel SportsNet LA.

The Dodgers-owned channel will debut in 2014. The Dodgers will remain on Fox Sports Prime Ticket through the upcoming 2013 season.

The deal, which still must be approved by Major League Baseball, is expected to cover 25 years and is worth between a reported $7 billion and $8 billion to the Dodgers.

“We concluded last year that the best way to give our fans what they want – more content and more Dodger baseball — was to launch our own network,” said Mark Walter, chairman of the Dodgers.

The Dodgers will launch SportsNet L.A. in ’14 through American Media Productions, a fully owned subsidiary that the team launched in December 2012. Time Warner Cable will not have an ownership stake in the new sports network, but will handle all ad sales and affiliate sales for the channel.

Time Warner Cable has agreed to be SportsNet LA’s distributor and will carry the new network for its customers throughout Southern California and Hawaii under a long-term affiliation deal.

While the monthly fee that Time Warner Cable will charge for the channel has not been determined, some industry experts expect the channel could land $5 per subscriber per month. That would place SportsNet LA among the country’s highest-priced regional sports networks.

“The creation of AMP will provide substantial financial resources over the coming years for the Dodgers to build on their storied legacy and bring a World Championship home to Los Angeles,” Walter said. “Just as we are actively transforming the team and the stadium, we want the Dodgers to be exhibited on the very best sports network in the country — one that will provide an unrivaled fan experience.”

The creation of SportsNet LA will give Southern California its sixth regional sports network and fourth to launch since August of 2012. The new network joins FSN, Prime Ticket, Time Warner Cable SportsNet, Time Warner Cable Deportes and Pac-12 L.A.



Report: Time Warner Cable to televise Dodgers’ games

Time Warner Cable has reportedly struck a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers to broadcast the Major League Baseball team’s games on a new channel starting with the 2014 season.

Citing two sources, Bloomberg reported Tuesday morning that the nation’s second-largest cable company will broadcast the games on a new regional sports network developed by Guggenheim Partners, who purchased the Dodgers last year for $2.15 billion.

Time Warner Cable reportedly will be a partner in the TV channel but won’t own the channel.

The Dodgers have been broadcast by Fox Sports since 1997, including most recently on the Prime Ticket regional sports network for a reported $40 million per season. Fox Sports’ exclusive negotiating window with the Dodgers ended in November, and that’s when talks with Time Warner Cable heated up.

Fox Sports had been discussing a 25-year-deal with the Dodgers worth more than $6 billion.

Time Warner Cable launched two new regional sports networks in the fall devoted to the Los Angeles Lakers after paying $3 billion in a 20-year deal.

Bloomberg reported that while a deal has not been signed an announcement on the agreement is expected soon.

Fox Sports still has the rights to MLB’s Los Angeles Angels, the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers, and the NHLs Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks.


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.

Time Warner Cable launches new HD sports channels

Time Warner Cable Desert Cities launched three new HD sports channels on Wednesday, geared toward their season-long professional sports league offerings.

Just in time for the NHL season that begins Saturday, subscribers to the NHL Center Ice package will have two HD channels with game action. The new HD channels are 936 and 937.

Those same channel numbers also will feature baseball games when the MLB Extra Innings package launches in April.

In addition, subscribers to the NBA League Pass can watch selected games in HD on channel 993.

New soccer channels, new HD channels launch on Time Warner Cable

Time Warner Cable customers in Desert Cities can now watch beIN SPORT, the new independent 24-hour global network dedicated to live and exclusive coverage of the world’s best soccer and international sports.

The new channel launched Thursday on Time Warner Cable as part of the sports package on channel 508 in HD and on channel 390 in standard definition. The Spanish language channel is on Channel 507 in HD and channel 389 in standard.

Time Warner Cable delivers beIN SPORT in English and a separate network in Spanish on TV and On Demand. The new and exclusive international sports channels bring live game action, news and analysis of top American, European and Latin American soccer leagues around the world, as well as other exclusive content.

With beIN SPORT, Time Warner Cable subscribers have access to Spain’s La Liga, Italy’s Serie A, France’s Ligue 1, South American World Cup Qualifiers and Copa America 2015. The network also carries the away games of the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team in the qualifying rounds of the 2014 World Cup.

Time Warner Cable also added a number of HD channels, bringing their HD offerings to 130 channels. Among the new HD channels are:

  • Fox      Deportes (505)
  • TV      Japan (799)
  • FOX      Movies (549)
  • Sundance      Channel (550)
  • fearNet (548)
  • TCM (552)
  • Galavision (387)
  • Hub (556)


Also these Networks are being added in Standard Definition

  • RLTV    (206)   – The      only media network      and online destination created to engage today’s 50+ audience.      Programming includes topics such as Finance, Health and Wellness,      Relationships, Transformation, Issues and Answers and Exploration
  • Magic      Johnson’s ASPiRE     (207)  – delivering enlightening, entertaining and positive programming to      African-American families with a diverse slate including movies,      documentaries, short films, music, comedy, visual and performing arts and      faith and inspirational programs.
  • BBC      World News (286)



Update on Dish Network talks to carry Los Angeles Lakers games

It does not appear that Dish Network customers will be watching many Los Angeles Lakers basketball games this season.

The satellite provider is the lone holdout to carry Los Angeles Lakers games on Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Deportes.

Time Warner Cable released an update on negotiations Tuesday evening that does not sound encouraging either:

“Despite our best efforts and their customers’ demands, DISH Network has elected not to carry Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes. Given the popularity of the programming, including the country’s first Spanish-language regional sports network, we hope their position will change.

“Fortunately, because our networks are available to virtually every sports fan in the region, DISH customers are able to switch to Time Warner Cable, DIRECTV, Cox, Verizon FiOS, AT&T Uverse, Bright House Networks and Charter to get the Lakers, Galaxy and Sparks programming they desire.”


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.