The Portland Trailblazers are expected to have a great season this year, but many of their dedicated fans won’t get to see 65 percent of their games. For a second season in a row, some fans will miss crucial Blazer games because negotiations between Comcast Sportsnet and other cable and satellite providers remain stuck.
A year ago, Comcast spent $130 million on the rights to air Trailblazer games for the next ten years. Comcast Sportsnet said at the time that the deal would make Blazer games more accessible to more fans, but it hasn’t worked out that way. Comcast Sportsnet, Direct TV and Charter Communications have not agreed on price and packaging, leaving Direct TV and Charter Communications customers out of luck when it comes to watching Trailblazer games. Some fans have gotten so frustrated that they’ve joined forces to boycott Trailblazer sponsors in hopes of putting pressure on Comcast and cable providers to reach a deal. At this point, the only option for Blazer enthusiasts without Comcast Sportsnet Northwest is to watch the few games broadcast nationally on ESPN, or their local television networks.
Are you a Blazers fan who has missed televised games? Have you found a way to access every game despite the ongoing negotiations between Comcast and cable and satellite providers? What responsibility does the team have to remedy this situation?
- Don Brissler: Co-founder of Blazer Access Fan Coalition
- Ryan White: Sport writer for the Oregonian
- Dave Manougiay: Comcast Sportsnet Northwest’s general manager
- Craig Watson: Charter Communications’ vice president of communications
- Mike Reynolds: News editor for Multichannel News