Charter, AT&T, Verizon agree to launch Time Warner Cable SportsNet

Regional sports networks lack deals with DirecTV, Cox Communications, Dish Network
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Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) said late Friday that Charter Communications (Nasdaq: CHTR), Verizon (NYSE: VZ) FiOS TV and AT&T (NYSE: T) U-verse TV agreed to launch regional sports networks Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Spanish-language version Time Warner Cable Deportes.

But with the Los Angeles Lakers scheduled to tip off the 2012-13 season on Tuesday, Time Warner Cable still lacks deals with DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV), Cox Communications and Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH).  

AT&T said it'll offer subscribers in Southern California SportsNet if they take its U100 package or a more expensive tier. The telco will carry SportsNet in high definition on channel 1777, and it will run on channel 777 in standard definition. It's offering Time Warner Cable Deportes in its U300 package, or on channel 1778 in HD and channel 778 in standard definition.

Charter said it'll launch SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes by Oct. 31, planning to carry SportsNet in high definition on channel 787, and in standard definition on channel 215. It'll carry Time Warner Cable Deportes in HD on channel 787, and in standard definition on channel 216.

Time Warner Cable said it a brief statement Friday that it also signed a carriage deal with Verizon FiOS TV. But the company said it would announce the details of the agreement at a later date.

Time Warner Cable is reportedly charging affiliates nearly $4 per subscriber monthly to carry Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Deportes. The MSO may be able to recruit subscribers that are hardcore Lakers fans from DirecTV and Dish, if the satellite providers resist signing carriage deals.

For more:
- see the Charter release
- see the AT&T release

Commentary: SportsNet, MSG disputes highlight Time Warner Cable's evolving views on sports tiers

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