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Contract dispute sore spot for bar owners

The Time Warner Cable Company currently has exclusive rights to most of the Lakers basketball games. However, to the chagrin of many sports bar owners, a contract dispute may keep the games off the air for those who do not have access to Time Warner Cable. This could affect many California businesses.

Customers have been calling the businesses to learn whether the games are going to be shown. There are 82 regular season games, 25 of which are carried through national channels such as TNT and ESPN. Time Warner Cable is currently the only carrier in Southern California that carries the other 57 games. The company paid approximately $3 billion for the rights to these games.

Now Time Warner is negotiating with other television service carriers such as Charter and Dish Network to distribute these rights so that everyone can see the games. This is where things have stalled. It seems that all of the companies are in a stalemate, waiting to see who will agree to a price first.

Some business owners are stating that they are losing as much as $3,000 for each game night that they miss. Many fans congregate to these sports bars for the libations and camaraderie of other Lakers fans. While not overly optimistic, the business owners are still hoping that an agreement will be reached soon.

A contract dispute can stall profits for all kinds of businesses; not only in California, but all over the world. While both parties want to reach a mutual agreement that is beneficial to all involved, it is often easier said than done. Hopefully this particular dispute will soon reach a satisfactory conclusion so that Lakers fans throughout California can cheer on their favorite team all season long.

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

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