Saturday, August 08, 2009

Joe Giansante: "If we lose 8,000 alums in Medford, we’re picking up 50,000 alums in Seattle.”

With Oregon's 2009 football season less than a month away I thought I would repost an almost one year old quote from Joe Giansante of the University of Oregon Athletic Department. In a year nothing has changed! Most Oregon fans in Southern Oregon who have Charter Cable, satellite TV (The Dish/Direct TV) or get over the air TV have not gotten most Oregon Sports Network (OSN) programs for almost a year! We have missed football games,replays,coaches shows,many basketball games, baseball and track. For a year there has been no word on when we can expect to start getting the broadcast we had received for many years when OSN and Chambers Communications were cooperating. Now with the football season only weeks away it would be nice if this situation could be resolved!

The following is my post of almost a year ago (August 27, 2008)that outlines the problem:
The above quote is from an interview of Joe Giansante in a news story on the front page of the Eugene Register Guard Newspaper on the Television deal between the University of Oregon's Oregon Sports Network (OSN), IMG and Comcast SportsNet Northwest Cable TV channel. The problem is that large areas of Oregon including Medford do not have that channel available on non Comcast cable providers such as Medford's Charter Cable TV. There is a link to the news story by clicking on the title above. Joe is a heck of a nice guy and bleeds green and yellow but my guess is that is a quote he would like to take back. How many of those alums in Seattle pay Oregon taxes that support the University of Oregon. Yes, I know the athletic department is self supporting but it has to represent a University that is in this case a public university in the state of Oregon. Ah, to gain Seattle but lose Medford. Grants Pass, Klamath Falls, Roseburg and Bend! In addition, for every alumnus in Southern Oregon there are many more Duck fans who never took a class at the U of O because the Ducks are the home state team. I bet outside of the alumni there are not many Duck fans in Seattle! You fans in Eugene don't be too satisfied ...... under this deal you are only going to get the live games on OSN but not the replays, coaches shows etc. Let's hope this is a "work in progress"! To put Giansante's quote in context here are a few more quotes from the RG news story:

Giansante said the university believes that Comcast SportsNet is on the cusp of becoming the dominant regional sports network. “They have the (Portland Trail) Blazers, and now they have the Ducks, and everyone else who wants to be there are going to have to work around us,” he said.

Giansante acknowledged that the university is concerned about potential backlash from viewers who live in areas without over-the-air reception or who can’t afford cable. About 20 percent of the area TV market does not have cable or satellite, Giansante said. While the three football games to be shown on Comcast SportsNet include an over-the-air alternative, that won’t be true for all UO sports or contests.

Comcast SportsNet encountered a similar outcry when it landed the Trail Blazers broadcast rights, with games unavailable to viewers living in areas outside Comcast SportsNet’s reach.

“The tough thing is, we have fans everywhere who are equal in their passion for Oregon sports,” he said. “But when networks like these grow, these are the growing pains. If we lose 8,000 alums in Medford, we’re picking up 50,000 alums in Seattle.”

September 14, 2008 post

Today in an attempt to put pressure on Charter Cable in Southern Oregon, Comcast Sportsnet ran a full page yellow/black/green ad in the sports section of Medford's Mail Tribune, Sunday newspaper. The full page ad has a large picture of an Oregon Duck football player with number "00" and states: "DUCK FANS, DON'T MISS A MOMENT OF COVERAGE. TO GET COMCAST SPORTSNET CONTACT DIRECTTV, DISH NETWORK OR CHARTER BY CALLING 877-8CSNNW-9" The ad doesn't say how much Comcast Sportsnet is charging but I have talked to a source here in Southern Oregon who confirms $2.00 per Charter Cable subscriber per month is close. Typically Comcast will not allow a cable operator like Charter to put Comcast Sportsnet on a higher "Sports Tier" so only those that want it will pay the additional cable cost. If you polled most Charter customers in Southern Oregon, they would not want to increase their cable bill by $2.00 to get the Mike Bellotti show and a few Oregon football and basketball games that they used to get free. Hopefully there can be some compromise between Charter and Comcast... make it happen!

I called the number on the ad and reached a recorded message that said that the cable provider in my area did not have Comcast Sportsnet and then transferred me to Charter Cable where I get their regular recorded call menu of options for incoming calls.
Labels: Sports