ROOT Sports pursuing streaming service deals as alternatives to cable, satellite | #sports | #elderly | #seniors
AT&T Sports Network president Patrick Crumb told The Athletic on Thursday that ROOT Sports will being speaking with streaming services such as Fubo TV, Hulu and YouTube about getting the network on those platforms.
On Wednesday, the Portland Trail Blazers and ROOT announced they were entering a new broadcast rights partnership starting next season. Getting the Blazers comes months after the network agreed to become the television partner for the Seattle Kraken in the inaugural season in addition to already having the Seattle Mariners and the Portland Timbers.
“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.”
Currently, fans in the Pacific Northwest can only access ROOT through their cable or satellite providers. The only streaming option for fans — beyond streaming games with either their cable or satellite packages — would be through AT&T TV where plans range between $69.99 to $139.99.
Securing a streaming rights deal with one of those services could provide a solution to a significant challenge many fans encounter when balancing cord-cutting while also being able to watch their favorite teams on a regional sports network — or RSN.
The ongoing battle between cable and satellite providers and RSNs comes down to money and value. Cable and satellite providers are trying to counter cord-cutting by offering lower packages. That, in turn, has prompted RSNs toward offering an attractive product that makes allows them to have some leverage in negotiations.
Adding the Blazers now means ROOT can boast having MLB, MLS, NBA and the NHL on its network in addition to Gonzaga men’s basketball games. It gives ROOT the portfolio of being a RSN with year-round programming that could prompt fans to make the network a permanent fixture as opposed to only subscribing during Mariners’ season for those trying to save money.
Crumb said in the event there are two games going on at the same time, there will be overage channels provided by cable and television providers.