The Trail Blazers justified leaving NBC Sports Northwest and the network's vast majority of employees behind by stressing the move would allow the team's television reach to double.
Conveniently ignored by Portland upon its announcement of a multi-year deal with ROOT Sports? That local fans who stream Blazers games on any service other than AT&T TV would be forced to find a new means of watching their favorite team going forward, unless ROOT Sports reaches new agreements with streaming providers before next season.
Good news: The powers that be are already engaged in discussions that will render that massive problem moot. As AT&T Sports Network president Patrick Crumb told Ryan S. Clark of The Athletic on Thursday that ROOT Sports is "knocking on the door" of streaming services to reach a broadcast agreement.
“We are knocking on the doors of the streaming services all the time,” Crumb said. "We are going to continue to definitely pursue that carriage.”
The Athletic notes that YouTube TV, Fubo TV and Hulu are some of the streaming platforms being pursued by ROOT Sports.
Joe Freeman of The Oregonian reported earlier this week that approximately 100,000 fans in Portland Seattle used streaming services to watch local and regional sports. While Crumb also told The Oregonian that ROOT Sports would make an effort to reach distribution deals with other streaming services, going on the record at The Athletic with a more positive spin on the negotiations is clearly a sign momentum is trending in the right direction.
Keep putting pressure on ROOT Sports, cord-cutting Rip City fans. Mere days after the Blazers announced their new partnership, it's clearly already paying off.
[Ryan S. Clark, The Athletic]