This happening this evening. We’re learning that the Los Angeles Lakers are ending their long relationship with cable partner Fox Sports/Prime Ticket and over the air partner, KCAL. According to Joe Flint of the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers have signed a 20 year agreement with Time Warner Cable to create 2 regional sports networks. This is a major blow to Fox Sports and to the CBS-owned KCAL which have used the Lakers as major sports programming.
This new agreement will start with the 2012-13 season and it means that all Lakers games, not including those on national television, will be aired on the new Time Warner Cable channel. And Tom Hoffarth from the Los Angeles Daily News notes that one channel will be aired in English while the other will be produced in Spanish.
Both Tom and Flint write that Time Warner doesn’t want to stop with the Lakers. The Dodgers’ TV rights with Fox Sports West ends in the 2013 season and have made overtures that they want to form their own regional sports network.
Kevin Ding from the Orange County Register writes that the new RSNs will be made available to all cable and satellite providers.
We’ll have more on this on Tuesday. This will definitely have a ripple effect across the country.