Watching the Lakers on TV . . . NOW how much would you pay?

Sooner or later you're going to be paying for the Lakers and telling your grandchildren you used to watch them for free.

It's a great scam. The more you complain about wanting to watch the Lakers, the happier you will be when your cable or satellite bill increases.

The same goes for the Pac-12 Networks. How many people now gladly pay hundreds for the NFL Sunday Ticket on DirecTV?

Soon the Dodgers will be doing their own TV deal.

We've already been told no one buys the Dodgers for $2.15 billion unless they know they're going to strike it rich with a new TV deal.

And who will be giving the Dodgers all that TV money?

You will be.

The Dodgers have to hope Vin Scully hangs around for the new TV deal. Otherwise it's going to be tougher to convince fans to pay extra to bring Steve Lyons into their living rooms. How much would people pay to make him leave?

Whatever the initial regrets, though, you will pay in some form, even if it's only in increased basic cable services.

It's where sports are headed. Earlier this week TBS/TNT was promoting its slate of baseball games for the next day but said the starting times were still to be determined.

Fans wanting to make plans and attend games the next day just don't matter as much anymore. It's all about what makes for the most attractive TV fare in prime time; it's where the money is.

The argument can be made it will still be cheaper to pay to watch a season of baseball or basketball on TV than to pay to take the family to a game.

But I wonder if the day will come when the Dodgers have to bring in a studio audience to make the game more exciting for the folks watching at home.

No such concern for the Lakers. Everyone's jazzed for this season. So don't you worry, you'll get the chance to pay to watch them play on TV.

And the Lakers, TWC and your own cable company know ultimately you will be thrilled to do so.

The really good news, of course, is the Lakers, TWC and your own cable companies are probably already making plans to lower the cost three years from now when Kobe's no longer playing.


Twitter: LATimesTJSimers