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DirecTV, Time Warner Cable reach deal on Lakers' channels

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Time Warner Cable has reached a deal that will bring Los Angeles Lakers games to local customers of satellite provider DirecTV, one of the biggest pay television distributors in Southern California.

As of Thursday, DirecTV will carry Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Spanish-language sister Time Warner Cable Deportes on its service in the Los Angeles area, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, Las Vegas and Hawaii, the companies said in a statement.

The regional sports networks provide local broadcasts of the National Basketball Association's Lakers, the LA Galaxy soccer team and the Los Angeles Sparks women's basketball team.

DirecTV has 1.2 million customers in the Los Angeles market, according to SNL Kagan.

Time Warner Cable paid about $2 billion over 20 years for local broadcasting rights to Lakers' games, Barclays analyst James Ratcliffe estimates.

The company has been negotiating with cable and satellite providers to carry the two sports networks, seeking an average monthly fee of $3.95 per subscriber to cover its hefty contract. It now has carriage agreements in place with several distributors including Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T.

(Reporting By Lisa Richwine; editing by Jim Marshall)

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