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Time Warner Cable cuts sports programs, lays off about 30 people

Time Warner Cable cuts sports programs, lays off about 30 people
Vin Scully calls a Dodgers game. The programming and job cuts at Time Warner Cable Sports will not affect broadcasts of Dodgers or Lakers games. (Danny Moloshok / Associated Press)

Time Warner Cable this week cut programs on its three Southern California sports channels and eliminated about 30 jobs.

Coverage of live games on the three channels -- SportsNet LA (Dodgers), TWC SportsNet (Lakers) and TWC Deportes -- will not be affected. Instead, TWC has eliminated much of the non-game coverage, including "Dodgers Clubhouse," "Larry King at Bat" and "Laker Girls."

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The cuts had nothing to do with the financial losses that TWC has sustained because of the Dodgers' television blackout, TWC spokesperson Maureen Huff said.

"It's a reaction based on lack of viewers for this programming," Huff said.

In February, The Times reported that TWC had lost more than $100 million per year on SportsNet LA, largely because TWC had not reached agreements with other major cable and satellite distributors to carry the channel.

The Dodgers channel remains off the air on all major pay-TV systems except TWC and Charter Communications, which added SportsNet LA in June after agreeing to acquire TWC. The companies hope to secure government approval of the deal this winter, after which Charter plans to pitch the Dodgers channel to DirecTV and other distributors.

TWC last year agreed to show the final six games of the Dodgers' season on KDOC-TV Channel 56 as a goodwill gesture to fans without SportsNet LA. The company said this month that it had no plans to repeat that gesture this season.

The Dodgers, not TWC, own SportsNet LA.

Lon Rosen, the Dodgers' executive vice president and chief marketing officer, said he had no comment.

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