Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Joe Giansante:"If we lose 8,000 alums in Medford, we’re picking up 50,000 alums in Seattle.” SEASON THREE ! AD Rob Mullens!

Three years ago, this month, Joe Giansante,Oregon's Senior Associate Athletic Director, made the above statement regarding the new contract between the University of Oregon Athletic Department and Comcast Sportsnet Northwest.

The quote was the result of a fact that Oregon fans in Medford and many other communities in Oregon would not get Oregon Sports Network programing such as the Oregon coaches shows, replays of games, live football, basketball, and baseball games broadcast by the Oregon Sports Network (OSN) because Comcast had the exclusive rights to these programs and had not come to an agreement with Charter Communications, or the satellite TV providers DirecTV and the Dish Network. At that time, THREE YEARS ago, Joe was quoted on the front page of the Register Guard Newspaper as follows:

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.”

Three years of "growing pains" with no solution in sight! With football less than a month away no coaches show or replays in most of Southern Oregon for Duck fans. Also, the New Mexico and Portland State football games will be unavailable in most of Southern Oregon because those games will be broadcast on the OSN. It will be even worse during basketball season when many game are shown on OSN. The problem is Comcast has the exclusive rights to these Oregon Duck programs but in THREE YEARS has been unable to come to an agreement with Charter or the Satellite TV providers much less with local TV stations. With the exception of Ashland the only way to get TV in Southern Oregon is over the air, Charter Communications and the satellite providers. None of the four local stations or the other providers available in Southern Oregon have been able to come to terms with Comcast. Portland Trailblazer fans have the same problem. The following is from the Wikipedia article on Comcast Sportsnet Northwest:
The channel is currently unavailable on DirecTV, Dish Network and Charter Communications. DirecTV and Dish Network maintain that Comcast is negotiating in bad faith. For example, on one hand Comcast argues that the channel must be on a low tier with the most customers.[4] At the same time, Comcast argues that non-Comcast-owned sports channels should be shown only on a sports tier.[5] The NBA Trail Blazers are said to be frustrated and disappointed by the conduct of Comcast over their contract with CSN.[6]

The Consumer Protection Committee of the Oregon House of Representatives held a hearing on February 24, 2010 to help get the channel on DirecTV, Dish Network and Charter Cable.[7] No one from DirecTV, Dish Network, or the Trail Blazers attended.[8]

On June 21, 2010, The Trail Blazers asked the Federal Communications Commission to require Comcast Corp. to make Trail Blazers games available to competing multichannel programming distributors such as DirecTV and Dish Network.[9]

Will I have to re post this next August?