Time Warner Cable SportsNet and its Spanish-language sibling Time Warner Cable Deportes will launch October 1 as the exclusive home to the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers, Major League Soccer’s L.A. Galaxy and the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks. The regional sports networks’ names were unveiled today; at launch, they will show than 120 live sports events per year including local high school sports. “We are building Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes from the ground up to be the new homes for Southern California sports fans,” Time Warner Cable Sports President David Rone said. “Our networks are created around live coverage of some of the region’s signature franchises and represent a 24/7 commitment to give fans more access and insight than they have ever seen before.” It will be the first time that all Lakers games will be on one network after TWC inked the team to a 20-year deal in February and announced the formation of the networks.
The sister regional sports networks will be housed together in an El Segundo studio, but both will have their own production teams. SportsNet is bringing over longtime Lakers announcers Stu Lantz and Bill Macdonald and will also feature Andy Adler anchoring nightly programming and former Boston Red Sox reporter Heidi Watney handling on-scene duties. TWC Deportes, the nation’s first Spanish-language RSN, will have its own graphics, talent and programming, including daily local news reports, a soccer show and coverage of boxing and lucha libre. Adrian Garcia Marquez and Francisco Pinto have come aboard for on-screen duties.
TWC has remained tight-lipped about whether it plans to bid on the soon-to-be-available local TV rights for the Los Angeles Dodgers, which could be worth billions of dollars. Fox’s rival regional net currently has those right locked up through the end of the 2013 season and fought with the Dodgers’ former ownership over keeping its exclusive renegotiation window.
(Kobe Bryant photo: Getty Images)