Blazers management extends deal with Comcast as 'exclusive media - KPTV - FOX 12

Blazers management extends deal with Comcast as 'exclusive media partner'

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Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers (KPTV file image) Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers (KPTV file image)

Portland Trail Blazers management has extended the team's broadcast partnership with Comcast.

Trail Blazers President and CEO Chris McGowan announced Wednesday that the extension begins in the 2017-2018 season and will make Comcast SportsNet Northwest the "exclusive media partner" for all regional Trail Blazers games.

The Blazers teamed up with Comcast a decade ago to broadcast games on the newly formed CSN Northwest.

The agreement left some fans, including many satellite subscribers, without access to the channel.

A release from the team states CSN Northwest has seen "meaningful increases" in distribution over the last few years, including agreements with Charter Communications, CenturyLink Prism TV and the Sony Playstation Vue streaming service. CSN Northwest is part of NBC Sports Group. 

Casey Holdahl, digital reporter for the Blazers, said games will be streamed on the new Playstation Vue service in the Portland area with no blackouts.

McGowan told Holdahl that as the process played out, it became clear no other provider could assure a reach that could match Comcast.

“After thorough negotiations with several other potential partners, it became apparent that by building on our existing relationship with CSN Northwest, we have the best opportunity to increase distribution for Trail Blazers games and other programming in our marketplace,” said McGowan.

The new agreement comes after the franchise made a major shakeup to its broadcasting teams. TV broadcasters Mike Barrett and Mike Rice, along with radio commentator Antonio Harvey, were released by the Blazers last month. Longtime Seattle Sonics broadcaster Kevin Calabro was then hired to be the new TV voice of the Blazers.

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