Some phone discussions late Tuesday during Kraken’s debut game turned out to be a breakthrough that will now see the team’s second competition—and all other Route Sports Northwest—matchups shown on DirecTV.
A deal announced Wednesday will see all Kraken and Portland Trail Blazers games aired on ROOT Sports by DirecTV and its DirecTV stream service. The AT&T Sports Network, which manages Mariners-owned Route Sports, on Tuesday announced a list of carriage partners for the NHL-and-NBA-team-bolted version of the regional sports network (RSN), And DirecTV was not one of these. Them.
But that changed in the later hours and evenings. A source said the respective heads of AT&T Sports Network and DirecTV cleared the remaining hurdles by phone during Tuesday’s inaugural Kraken game in Las Vegas, which is being shown nationally on ESPN — which marked the end of the NHL. The rights deal removed any local Route Sports broadcasts.
“We couldn’t be more pleased about the addition of DirecTV and DirecTV streams to Kraken and Trail Blazers’ list of providers,” said Nina Kinch, vice president of AT&T Sports Networks, in a statement. “DIRECTV remains the champion of local sports coverage for fans everywhere. The availability of games on DirecTV and DirecTV streams is great news for fans of Kraken and Trail Blazers who prefer to watch games from home or on the go. ”
Fans looking to stream Thursday night’s Kraken game in Nashville against the Predators can do the same via fuboTV, which last month reached a deal with Root Sports. Although some operational issues have prevented the streaming service from adding Route Sports to its lineup, the plan is to have RSN added before Thursday’s 5 a.m. game.
The deal also prevents another potential black eye for sports fans already from Root Sports leaving Dish TV two weeks ago, just as the Mariners were starting their final playoff push in a season-ending series against the Los Angeles Angels. .
The Kraken and Blazers’ new programming additions to the Route Sports lineup meant that providers already carrying RSNs had a choice under the provisions of their contracts: pay extra money for games involving both teams, Or refuse to take them and show them to the audience. Alternate route sports program whenever they play.
This means that, before the new deal, DirecTV customers in Seattle tuning in for Route Sports’ first Kraken broadcast in Nashville, which featured John Forslund on play-by-play, saw something different on their TV screens. Will happen. Now that the deal has been avoided, Blazers fans will also be happy, as the team was criticized by satellite providers DirecTV and Dish for not carrying the team long enough during their 14-year television partnership with NBC Sports Northwest. Was.
This was largely to be resolved last June by Root Sports becoming the new broadcast rights holder for the Blazers games through the 2024–25 season. But then Dish left Root Sports two weeks ago when its current contract expires in what appears to be a permanent move with little prospect of a solution, with both sides giving statements that they will continue to do so. Are philosophically opposed to business positions.
“The current RSN model is fundamentally broken,” Dish’s group president Brian Neylon said in a release at the time. “This model requires almost all customers to pay for RSNs, when only a small percentage of customers actually see them.”
But AT&T Sports VP Kinch told The Times that his company offered “generally accepted, market terms” in which Dish was not interested. Dish has now let go of one remaining RSN — Massachusetts-based NESN — as the contracts come up for renewal.
The prospect of DirecTV dropping an additional ROOT Sports offering from Blazers and Kraken Games was viewed Tuesday by many Portland NBA fans as serious news from the already troubling Dish move. For Kraken fans, an interesting twist to all the last-minute drama was that a financial deal approved in August now sees DirecTV now controlled by TPG Capital — the company founded by billionaire Kraken majority owner David Bonderman.
So, in effect, it was a satellite provider controlled by Bonderman’s company that risked not carrying the games played by his new NHL team, negotiations stalled.
That’s all settled for now with Wednesday’s deal info.