Time Warner Lockout Hurting More than Just Laker Fans - NBC Southern California

Time Warner Lockout Hurting More than Just Laker Fans

Local sports bars are taking a hit because they can't broadcast the game.



    Rock and Brews owner Michael Zislis says the stalled deal that has Direct TV, Dish Network and Cox Cable customers unable to watch Lakers games affects more than just the fans. He says the employees at his restaurant will miss out on shifts if they’re unable to show the games, which draw massive crowds during basketball season. Angie Crouch reports from El Segundo for the NBC4 news at 6 p.m. on Oct. 31, 2012. (Published Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012)

    At the Rock and Brews in El Segundo they’re expecting a significant drop in business if they can’t attract Lakers fans would normally flock to the outdoor patio to watch the games on Direct TV.

    But Direct TV along with Dish Network and Cox Cable still haven’t reached agreements with Time Warner cable to air the games. By Wednesday night, the cable providers had yet to reach an agreement and talks were set to continue.

    Rock and Brews owner Michael Zislis said it’s always about the money.

    “What the big companies don’t realize is, it hurts the little guys,” he said. “Not me but the guy that works in the kitchen and doesn’t get a shift because we’re not showing the Lakers tonight. So, it really is a trickle down.”

    Time Warner spent $3 billion for the regional TV rights to Lakers games for the next 20 years. The deal also includes the Sparks and Galaxy soccer games.

    Last minute deals were reached with AT&T U-verse, Verizon Fios, Charter, and Bright House, but fans who watch the games on satellite TV or Cox have been shut out.

    Lakers fan Lucky Romero said other fans may still see some Lakers around town Wednesday night.

    “They’re lucky tonight is Halloween because more people will be dressed up as the Lakers than watching the game itself,” Romero said. “As for what happens next, they need to come to a resolution really quick because there’s going to be a lot of disappointed people out there.”

    Some fans, like Richard Abramson, said they just want their games back - even if it means a reported $3.95 a month rate increase.

    “They always seem to solve these disputes,” he said. “Somebody ends up paying. I’d gladly pay $4 a month to see the Lakers.”