Contract dispute between cable networks threatens Lakers' games

October 5, 2012

A contract dispute between cable companies may create some very unhappy customers in Southern California once the Los Angeles Lakers start playing.

The contract dispute between Time Warner Cable and other cable companies is threatening who will be able to watch the L.A. Lakers play basketball in California.

Time Warner Cable bought the rights to air the Lakers games starting this basketball season. The games will be aired on Time Warner Cable's regional channels SportsNet and their Spanish-language channel, Deportes.

National channels including TNT, ESPN and ABC will carry 25 of the Lakers games this season. This leaves the rest of the 57 games to be aired only by Time Warner Cable as agreed upon in their contract.

Customers and businesses in Southern California are upset because if they do not have Time Warner Cable, they cannot watch the games. Even if new customers or businesses try to sign up for Time Warner Cable, some customers may not be able to get the service as Time Warner Cable is not available in certain areas in Southern California.

Time Warner Cable is working with the other cable companies to resolve the contract dispute. Time Warner Cable and several other cable companies stated they are working hard to reach an agreement so viewers in Southern California will be able to watch all the Lakers' games.

The current negotiations are still pending due to the cable companies not being able to agree upon a price that allows other cable channels to air the games.

This is an example of the importance of written contracts and the impact contract disputes can have on businesses and customers. An attorney can help businesses create contracts as well as help resolve and negotiate during contract disputes.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Dispute over Lakers broadcasts has sports bars crying in their beer," Jim Peltz, Oct. 23, 2012