Looking for a place to watch the game?
With Time Warner Cable owning an exclusive agreement to televise Laker games this season, many are scrambling to find locations that are showing games. Most bars won't as they have DirectTV. But some do. This is a map of those who will show the games.

The Lakers' pre-season is under way, and fans are wondering where they're going to watch Steve Nash drop a dime.

Time Warner Cable Sports has exclusive rights to the team's games, and it's playing tough zone defense in Southern California.

How long this will last is unclear.

As of Friday afternoon, Time Warner Cable Sports was still discussing broadcast rights with other program providers, but there was no indication if a deal might be reached in time for today's exhibition against the Utah Jazz.

"Negotiations with TV providers to carry Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes are ongoing," Time Warner Cable Sports said in a statement.

"There is a significant demand from Lakers fans for these two networks and we are working very hard to reach agreements with all TV providers in Southern California so that fans can watch the games they love."

Those talks include DirecTV, Dish Network, AT&T U-verse, Verizon Fios, Comcast, Charter Communications and Cox Cable. The deal between Time Warner and the Lakers was struck about a year ago.

"The Lakers are a big deal for us," said Dave Widor, owner of Redlands-based Jersey Pizza sports pub, which has a contract with Verizon. "Especially now with the new players (Dwight Howard and Nash). It's going to be disappointing if we can't show the games."

Widor said he doesn't anticipate a switch to Time Warner.

"The only thing we can do right now is wait and see," Widor said. "If they don't get it, we just can't show the Lakers. We won't get a special provider just to get the Lakers."

Spectators, a sports bar in Ontario, has been showing Lakers games as long as they've been on TV, said manager Noreen Weakland.

But it doesn't have Time Warner -- its cable provider is Direct TV, which means it won't be showing the purple and gold once the basketball season starts.

"I'm sure we're gonna take a hit," Weakland said.

Football is the bar's primary sport, but in the last five to seven years there has been an increase in basketball fans.

"Once (the Lakers) started winning, we could see the crowds get bigger," Weakland said.

The bar will stick with DirectTV -- for the NFL package -- and prepare for a slower basketball season.

"As far as I know there's nothing we can do," she said.

TWC has about 1.7 million of the 5 million TV homes in Southern California. DirecTV is second with about 1.1 million.

Eureka Burgers in Redlands also has Direct TV.

Manager Amy Hundley is one of many restaurant owners disgusted with the situation.

"My gut instinct is that it's one of those lockout deals where they will go back and forth," Hundley said. "Ultimately, Time Warner is buffaloing everyone."

TWC is asking for $3.95 per subscriber each month for both the SportsNet and Deportes channels, a rate among the highest ever charged for a regional sports network.

San Bernardino-based Celebrities Sports Grill has shown Lakers games in the past via Direct TV.

But Celebrities' owner Ahmet Karabas has a bigger problem.

"We called (Time Warner) and asked," Karabas said. "They told us they don't service our area."

Karabas added, "We have a sports bar. We have to have the Lakers. No Lakers, no business. And I have to explain to everyone, person by person, why we don't have Laker games."

Negotiations are expected to reach a conclusion before the first regular season game on Oct. 30, which has the Lakers at home against Dallas, but is already set for national coverage by cable channel TNT.

John Flores, manager of the Finish Line Sports Grill on the Fairplex complex in Pomona, saw the deal coming.

"It seems like they are are doing this kind of thing now," Flores said. "They got the Pac12 Network and things like that. It just seems like this is the way things are going."

The Finish Line Sports Grill offers the Dish Network and Direct TV, getting horse wagering from the Dish Network and the sports package from Direct TV. 

"Now we just have to decide if we want to pay to get the Lakers," Flores said.


Staff writers Gregory J. Wilcox and Lori Fowler contributed to this report. Reach Ed via email, call him at 909-793-3221, or find him on Twitter @TheFactsEd.