Entry for October 13, 2008

The RSN rivalry begins?

Comcast SportsNet Northwest is now broadcasting in the Puget Sound market, at least on Comcast’s service on the digital classic tier. Not sure about satellite operators or other cable providers. The RSN advertises that they will show 55 Blazers games and 60+ Canucks and Sharks games. This in addition to the usual array of college sports. It remains to be seen whether CSNW is here for the long haul. I tend to think they are.

Among the things to look for to guage how serious the network is, first I’ll watch to see if the network gets wider carriage on other MSOs. Then, we’ll see whether CSNW gets moved up the channel lineup, joining the other sports networks, and on a non-digital tier. Additionally, CSNW must get an HD broadcast as well for longterm success. Lastly, they should add Seattle area-related programming to hold this audience’s attention. That attention span likely won’t be long if the programming is noticeably Portland-centric. Overall though, I think CSNW has potential to challenge FSNW not only in the Puget Sound market, but throughout the northwest as well. I welcome this competition and am eager to see how it plays out.


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