File photo of a Los Angeles Lakers satellite dish.

File photo of a Los Angeles Lakers satellite dish. (KABC Photo)

Time Warner Cable launched its new regional sports channels, SportsNet and Deportes, Monday night, and on them the nation's No. 4 TV distributor plans to air Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Galaxy games.

The problem for many Southern Californians is that these two new channels are the only ones that will show the Lakers and Galaxy, so for Dish, DirecTV and Cox customers, that means no more Lakers or Galaxy as of now.

Time Warner Cable bought the regional TV rights for the two teams last year for an estimated $3 billion over 20 years. To help pay for the rights, the company is demanding payment from other TV distributors like Dish and DirecTV.

Time Warner Cable is asking as much as $3.95 per subscriber per month from competitors in the L.A. area, said a person familiar with the situation.

Dish said it would only strike a deal if it's a good value for their customers. DirecTV said it plans on carrying the network in a way that is "affordable for everyone."

DirecTV was unable to come to a similar agreement with the new Pac-12 network, much to the frustration of UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans fans now struggling to find their games on TV.

At a busy Lakers media day on Monday, the team said it is hopeful that's not the case for Lakers fans.

"It's a typical process that goes down to the wire," said Lakers spokesman John Black of the negotiations. "Our confidence is in them, that they know what they're doing. They're concerned, because we want all Laker fans to see all of our games."

The Lakers are making a reported $4 billion over 20 years for the new channels. It's a strategy that worked for the New York Yankees when they launched their own network in New York. That also may be tried by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The question remains: will that trend make sports more or less affordable for fans?

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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