Monday, September 01, 2008

Week One .... No Coach Bellotti Show in Southern Oregon

While I was in Eugene/Cottage Grove on Sunday morning after the Duck/Husky game I picked up The Eugene Register Guard and there was a nice ad in the sports section of the Register Guard for "Sunday Night With Coach Bellotti.... Taped post-game interviews and highlights with Mike Bellotti." The ad was sponsored by Bi-Mart and the show was to be shown each week of the season "Sundays 6PM Comcast Sports Net" I sure would have liked to watch this show when I got home to Medford Sunday afternoon. But NO ... it was not broadcast on cable nor over the air in Southern Oregon and it does not look good for the rest of this season despite what some folks in Eugene are saying.

This is a classic economic finger pointing match between IMG/Comcast Cable and Charter Cable and the local affiliates.

Comcast probably paid too much to the Ducks for the rights, and therefore expects Charter to help pay the freight. Charter does not want to pay what Comcast is demanding. In addition, Charter does not think its' subscribers will be willing to pay the additional monthly cost necessary to receive that programming.

The last speculation I heard was that Comcast was asking $2.00 per month per subscriber from Charter.

For comparison, there is a new Big Ten Network this year in the 8 state Midwest home of the Big Ten. That network is charging $1.10 in the in-state area, and 10 cents for out-of-state. So, if Medford's Charter took the Big Ten Network they would pay 10cents. And, the Big Ten Network covers several teams, not just one.

Joe Giansante made a comment this week that seemed to rebuff Southern Oregon when he said: "If we lose 8,000 alums in Medford, we’re picking up 50,000 alums in Seattle.”

The comment is meant as justification for the deal with Comcast which will include Seattle.

I suspect there will be a certain level of discontent voiced to Oregon AD Pat Kilkenny from Bend, Medford, etc. but the die is cast with the deal with Comcast. If Oregon takes the money, then they really can't dictate coverage to Comcast. I doubt Oregon would re-negotiate a lower rights fee.

This is the second year for the Big Ten Network and adjustments have been made there to include more cable operations. My guess is that we won't see much this year in Southern Oregon because both parties will drag this out hoping the other guy blinks and capitulates on cost. Personally, I don't think either party will blink. Hope I'm wrong.

Southern Oregon will get Oregon games broadcast over the air on ABC and on Charter Cable stations FSN,ESPN and Versus; but, not games broadcast by the Oregon Sports Network (OSN), coaches shows and OSN replays unless something is worked out soon. We are getting a replay on FSN of the Washington game on Labor Day. This is a Husky replay of the game!

Jay Jones over at Duck Sports is reporting he received an email from Joe Giansante who is working Labor Day regarding the TV situation for OSN summarized below as follows:

Here are Joe’s answers to the basic question as to where Duck fans can find OSN games around the state:

Portland - Comcast SportsNet 37
Eugene/Springfield - KLSR
Roseburg - KLSR
Coos Bay - KLSR
Bend - No carrier. Need an agreement between Bend Cable and Comcast SportsNet.
Medford - No carrier. Need an agreement between Charter and Comcast SportsNet.

Ashland, Coquille, Myrtle Point - Mixed coverage.

Jay is doing some good reporting on this subject and no one doubts that Joe Giansante is a good guy doing his best for the Ducks but he only has so much he can do with Comcast/IMG playing "hard ball"

(Click on the title above for a link to the Jay Jones report)