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The Los Angeles Lakers forged a new model for the sports media industry in 2011 when the franchise signed a 20-year deal with what was then Time Warner Cable worth a record-shattering $200 million a year on average. It was by far the largest regional rights deal ever signed, and paved the way for the creation of a spate of ‘RSN’s – Regional Sports Networks’ which have gone on to define an era in US sports media rights. Harris explains the ground-breaking broadcast deal the organisation signed with Time Warner seven years ago to give fans more access to players through shoulder broadcasting.
Reflecting on the deal that has given him the most satisfaction in his career, Harris, who has worked for the Buss family, which owns the Lakers, in a variety of roles since the 1990s, explains that the Lakers executive team had identified demand for non-live programming and outlines how his group set about putting together a long-term agreement with Time Warner.
In this interview, recorded behind the scenes at The Sport Business Summit, New York, Harris outlines: