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Blazers Soon To Negotiate New TV Contract as Comcast Deal Nears End

With one year remaining on their contract with CSNNW, the Blazers may look for a new TV partnership.

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Comcast Sports Net Northwest has had the broadcast rights to Portland Trail Blazers games for the past nine years, per their 10-year, $120 million contract. With that contract expiring after the 2016-17 NBA season, Trail Blazers President Chris McGowan can prepare to make a change or re-up with Comcast when the time comes. John Canzano of The Oregonian outlines potential outcomes of negotiations, here, and notes that McGowan may be poised to go in a new direction.

The Blazers and CSNNW have concluded their contractually obligated exclusive negotiating period. Now, for the first time in his tenure, McGowan is in position to do something about the broadcast deal he inherited. One he's publicly said he'd like to rectify. His presence on that commercial flight was evidence -- McGowan had scheduled a meeting in Los Angeles with Fox Sports Networks.

McGowan is not allowed to comment on the negotiation. CSNNW vice president and general manager Larry Eldridge is limited in what he can say, too. But Blazers fans, who have spent nine seasons bound by this deal, certainly can, and should speak out.

Executives at ROOT SPORTS confirmed that they have a series of meetings scheduled with McGowan beginning this week. They'd like to sell him on moving Portland's NBA franchise to their regional network -- Root Sports Northwest. It currently has the rights to the Timbers, Sounders and Mariners. There is also some speculation by insiders that the Blazers might negotiate an "over the top" carriage deal with a streaming partner such as Facebook or Yahoo.

For the remainder of the current deal, 60 of the Trail Blazers’ 82 regular season games will air on Comcast, with just 22 divided between national broadcasts and local affiliate KGW.