DirectTV subscribers in the Los Angeles area were happy to find out on Thursday that they will be able to again watch Lakers games again. The company announced on Thursday that they have struck a new deal with Time Warner SportsNet, the exclusive home of Lakers games, and will begin airing both English and Spanish broadcasts immediately.
The agreement ends yet another carriage dispute for the largest satellite cable operator in the United States and allows viewers in Southern California the opportunity to finally watch their team play on television. Previously, those in the So-Cal area were left out in the cold as DirecTV and Time Warner continued to fight over carriage fees.
DirecTV, along with many other providers, were protesting Time Warner’s SportsNet due to the cost of carrying the feed–which DirecTV argued would amount to nearly a $3.95 per subscriber increase. Both Dish and Cox Communications had previously reached new agreements, which left DirecTV as the lone standout when many of their Los Angeles subscribers were clamoring to just watch their favorite team on TV.
“DirecTV is pleased that Los Angeles Lakers, LA Galaxy and Los Angeles Sparks games and programming will now be seen by so many people whose loyalty remains the life’s blood to each team,” Don York, DirecTV CEO said. “We appreciate our customers’ patience and are happy to have arrived at an outcome that benefits everyone involved.”
This is not the first carriage dispute that resulted in a blackout. Earlier this year Viacom had 20 plus channels removed from the DirecTV lineup because the two companies could not reach an agreement on carriage fees going forward. SportsNet airs on channel 691 and DirecTV is thrilled to finally have them back in their lineup.