SportsChannel Los Angeles

SportsChannel Los Angeles is a defunct American regional sports network that was owned as a joint venture between the Rainbow Media subsidiary of Cablevision and NBC, and operated as an affiliate of SportsChannel. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the channel broadcast regional coverage of sports events throughout the Southern California, with a focus on Los Angeles-area professional sports teams.

SportsChannel Los Angeles
LaunchedJune 30, 1989
ClosedDecember 31, 1992
Owned byCablevision (50%)
NBC (50%)
Picture format480i (SDTV)
CountryUnited States
Broadcast areaSouthern California
HeadquartersLos Angeles
ReplacedZ Channel


SportsChannel Los Angeles launched on June 30, 1989; it served as the successor to Z Channel, an avant-garde movie service focusing on a variety of high-profile and lesser-known but critically acclaimed films.[1][2] Like its predecessor, SportsChannel Los Angeles operated as a premium cable service, requiring cable subscribers to pay an extra monthly fee to receive the network, a distribution method that many regional sports networks had utilized at the time of its launch; however unlike its predecessor, it did not broadcast 24 hours a day at first, offering programming from 2:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. on weekdays and from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. on weekends.[1]

Officials with Rainbow Media thought that it would give SportsChannel Los Angeles a financial advantage compared to Prime Ticket, which had the regional cable television rights to the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Kings but, in direct contrast, operated as a basic cable service. In the spring of 1991, the network acquired the regional television rights to the Los Angeles Clippers, effective with the 1991–92 season, assuming the local rights to the NBA team's game telecasts from Prime Ticket after one year.

The tactic backfired, as SportsChannel's Los Angeles subscriber base ultimately never matched that of Prime Ticket. After it replaced Z Channel, the network had about 120,000 subscribers; that number dropped sharply to around 67,000 subscribers by 1992.[3]

Because of this, the network attempted to reboot itself as a basic cable network on April 1, 1992; however, it chose to maintain premium exclusivity to selected events such as marquee Dodgers, Angels, Lakers and Stanley Cup Finals games, still requiring those events to be purchased on a pay-per-view basis, while all of the network's other programming including regular-season NHL games, college basketball and live and replayed horse races held at Santa Anita races were made available to all cable subscribers. However, because of the surcharge that would have to be passed to subscribers by carrying SportsChannel as a part-time premium/basic service, the plan did not sit well with some providers such as Cencom Cable Associates (which served parts of the western San Gabriel Valley, including Pasadena) and Paragon Cable (covering the suburbs of Torrance and Garden Grove), which decided to drop the network altogether.[4]

In addition, the network's decision to operate as a pay service caused some complaints from viewers, none more so than on May 3, 1992, after it became a part-time premium channel. Because of the riots that rocked Los Angeles following the acquittal of officers involved in the brutal beating of Rodney King, an NBA Playoff game between the Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz was moved to the Anaheim Convention Center and the game's telecast was removed by NBC and moved to TBS, whose telecast of the game – due to NBA broadcasting rules – had to be blacked out in the Los Angeles market. SportsChannel Los Angeles then inherited the exclusive local rights to televise the game. However, the network chose not to unscramble its signal; in letters to the Los Angeles Times and other sources, viewers complained that the game should have been made available to all subscribers as a public service.

As a result of the problems with its business structure, Cablevision/NBC announced in November 1992 that it would shut down the network.[5] SportsChannel Los Angeles ceased operations on December 31, 1992.[3] Prime Ticket (now Fox Sports West) subsequently acquired the broadcast rights to the Angels and Clippers;[6] it was the acquisition of those rights as well as that of the Los Angeles Dodgers that led to the creation of Fox Sports West 2 (now the present-day Prime Ticket) in January 1997.


SportsChannel Los Angeles held the regional cable television rights to the Los Angeles Dodgers and California Angels Major League Baseball franchises, and the Los Angeles Clippers of the NBA. The network also carried college basketball, baseball and football games from the Big West Conference. It also showed National Hockey League games, horse races from Santa Anita Park, and through its affiliation with SportsChannel America, college football and basketball games from various other collegiate athletic conferences.


  1. ^ a b Dennis McDougal (June 26, 1989). "Getting Hooked on Cable Sports : Pay TV Competition Begins to Resemble Playing-Field Rivalry". Los Angeles Times. Times Mirror Company. Retrieved April 12, 2015.
  2. ^ Peggy Ziegler (June 25, 1989). "The Death of Z Channel--What Now? : The History : Beset by troubles, quirky station will switch to all-sports". Los Angeles Times. Times Mirror Company. Retrieved April 12, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Larry Stewart (November 6, 1992). "SportsChannel L.A. Quits on Dec. 31". Los Angeles Times. Times Mirror Company.
  4. ^ Larry Stewart (March 6, 1992). "Basically, SportsChannel Tries Again". Los Angeles Times. Times Mirror Company. Retrieved April 12, 2015.
  5. ^ Larry Stewart (November 6, 1992). "SportsChannel Paid the Price". Los Angeles Times. Times Mirror Company. Retrieved April 12, 2015.
  6. ^ Larry Stewart (January 15, 1993). "Angels, Prime Ticket Sign a Five-Year Deal : Baseball: Station will carry 20 home games in 1993. Dodgers might not have cable contract this year". Los Angeles Times. Times Mirror Company. Retrieved April 12, 2015.
1990 California Angels season

The 1990 California Angels season involved the Angels finishing 4th in the American League west with a record of 80 wins and 82 losses.

1992 California Angels season

The California Angels 1992 season involved the Angels finishing 5th in the American League West with a record of 72 wins and 90 losses.

Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket

Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket are American regional sports networks owned by The Walt Disney Company, and operate as Fox Sports Networks affiliates. The channels broadcast regional coverage of professional and collegiate sports events in California, focusing primarily on professional sports teams based in the Greater Los Angeles area. Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket maintain general offices and studios based at the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles.

Both Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket are available on cable providers throughout Southern California, the Las Vegas Valley and Hawaii; it is also available nationwide on satellite via DirecTV, Dish Network, and via IPTV providers Sling TV and PlayStation Vue.


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List of Los Angeles Clippers broadcasters

Broadcasters for the Los Angeles Clippers, San Diego Clippers, and Buffalo Braves National Basketball Association teams.

Major League Baseball on SportsChannel

Major League Baseball on SportsChannel refers to the now defunct SportsChannel's television coverage of Major League Baseball on its respective regional sports networks.

Major League Baseball on regional sports networks

Major League Baseball games not broadcast exclusively by its media partners are televised by regional sports networks, which present sports programming of interest to their respective region. Most MLB broadcasters are members of chains such as NBC Sports Regional Networks, Fox Sports Networks, and AT&T SportsNet, although several teams are broadcast by regional networks that are independent of these chains. Some teams own partial or majority stakes in their regional broadcaster.

Regionally broadcast MLB games are subject to blackouts; games from outside of a viewer's designated market are blacked out to protect the local team.


The NBA on TBS is a presentation of NBA regular season and playoff game telecasts that aired on the American cable and satellite network TBS. The games are produced by Turner Sports, the sports division of the Turner Broadcasting System subsidiary of Warner Media, TBS's corporate parent.

The network obtained rights to air NBA games beginning with the 1984-1985 season (replacing the ESPN and USA Network as the National Basketball Association's national cable partners) in which TBS shared the NBA television package along with CBS.


SportsChannel is the collective name for a former group of regional sports networks in the United States that was owned by Cablevision, which from 1988 until the group's demise, operated it as a joint venture with NBC.

Operating from March 1, 1979 to January 27, 1998, it was the country's first regional sports network, and along with Prime Network, was an important ancestor to many of the regional sports outlets in the U.S., particularly Fox Sports Networks and Comcast SportsNet. At its peak, SportsChannel operated nine networks serving several of the nation's largest cities including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia.

Z Channel

The Z Channel was one of the first pay television stations in the United States. Launched in 1974 from Los Angeles, California, this station was known for its devotion to the art of cinema due to the eclectic choice of films by the programming chief, Jerry Harvey. It also popularized the use of letterboxing on television, as well as showing 'director's cut' versions of films (which is a term popularized after Z Channel's showing of Heaven's Gate). Z Channel's devotion to cinema and choice of rare and important films had an important influence on such directors as Robert Altman, Quentin Tarantino, and Jim Jarmusch.

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