Oct 13 2021 Update: ROOT and DirecTV reached an agreement the day after this report. See more here.
The Blazers’ rocky transition to ROOT Sports Northwest continued Tuesday with a detailed report from Seattle Times staff reporter Geoff Baker. The same day that ROOT posted an optimistic press release about the scope of their regional coverage, Baker reported that DirecTV has not reached terms to broadcast the Blazers this season.
“We are still in discussions with DirecTV and hope they will add the Kraken and Trail Blazers to their platforms,” AT&T Sports Networks President Patrick Crumb said in an interview after Tuesday’s announcement.
This may be a tricky negotiation: AT&T is not only a majority stakeholder in DirecTV, they also own a minority stake in ROOT Sports Northwest. The Seattle Mariners bought a majority stake in 2013, providing a stable network relationship through at least 2030. The Blazers moved to ROOT this year after 14 years with NBC Sports Northwest, which then shut down as Comcast seems to be exiting the sports business.
Crumb also dashed hopes of expanded online streaming options, specifically both YouTube TV and Hulu Live TV.
“Unfortunately, notwithstanding the fans’ desire to see Kraken and Trail Blazers games, both are declining to carry the programming,” he said. “I don’t necessarily see that changing anytime soon.”
ROOT Sports Northwest states via their press release that they plan “to add providers to make Trail Blazers and Kraken games available to as many fans as possible throughout the region.” The release also lists the providers offering access to “Trail Blazers and/or Kraken” games, but does not detail which teams will be available on which provider.
The Blazers’ regular season begins on Wednesday, October 20th against the Sacramento Kings, exclusively broadcast on ROOT Sports Northwest.