SportsChannel Los Angeles
|SportsChannel Los Angeles|
|Launched||30 June 1989|
|Closed||31 December 1992|
|Broadcast area||Los Angeles|
|Replaced by||Fox Sports West|
SCLA featured live play-by-play of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the California Angels, the Los Angeles Clippers, and the Big West Conference. It also showed National Hockey League games, college football and college basketball through an affiliation with SportsChannel America.
As a premium cable service
SCLA was the successor to Z Channel, an avant-garde movie service. Like its predecessor, SCLA was a premium cable service; in other words, cable subscribers had to pay an extra monthly fee to receive it. Officials thought it would give SCLA a financial advantage compared to Prime Ticket, which had cable rights to show the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Kings games. Prime Ticket was a non-premium service (as was, and is, ESPN).
But the tactic backfired, as SCLA's subscriber base never matched that of Prime Ticket. Also, the system caused viewer complaints, none more so than on May 3, 1992. Because of the riots that rocked Los Angeles, a playoff game between the Clippers and Utah Jazz was moved to the Anaheim Convention Center and the game broadcast was taken off NBC and placed on TBS, which had to be blacked out in the L.A. area. SCLA then inherited the exclusive local rights. SCLA chose not to unscramble its signal, and, in letters to the Los Angeles Times and other sources, viewers complained that the game should have been made available to all subscribers as a public service.
SportsChannel Los Angeles ceased operations on December 31, 1992. The Angels and Clippers immediately joined the Prime Ticket (now Fox Sports West) lineup, while the Dodgers with Fox Sports West 2 (now the "second" Prime Ticket) in 1997.