Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR) has made good on its promise to pick up Time Warner Cable's (NYSE: TWC) carriage-starved regional sports network, SportsNet LA. Charter announced that it will make the channel available in HD on channel 773 of its program guide to 300,000 Southern California-areas subscribers, starting with Tuesday's Los Angeles Dodgers game.
"The Dodgers are an iconic franchise and part of the fabric of the community," Tom Rutledge, chief executive of Charter Communications, said in a statement. "We are very excited to be bringing the Dodgers back to Charter customers in the L.A. area."
Charter announced its intentions to pick up the channel on the same day it trumpeted its $56.7 billion TWC purchase.
However, the channel--launched in March 2014 after TWC signed a 25-year, $8.35 billion contract with Major League Baseball's Dodgers--still doesn't have carriage on the region's No. 2 pay-TV service, DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV), which serves around 1.2 million customers in the L.A. areas. Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH), Cox Communications and Verizon FiOS (NYSE: VZ) also do not offer SportsNet LA.
SportsNet LA is now available in around 2 million homes. It's unclear how much Charter is paying to secure rights to the channel.
According to its quarterly earnings reports, TWC has been losing around $100 million a year, given the expensive Dodgers rights and lack of distribution.
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