Portland Trail Blazers Announce New Sports Network
SportsNet President Jon Litner and Portland Trail Blazers Executive Vice
President, Business Operations Mike Golub announced the formation of a
new 24-hour, seven- day regional sports network, Comcast SportsNet Northwest,
to serve sports fans in Oregon and across the Northwest. The announcement was
made at a press conference at the Rose Garden.
Comcast SportsNet Northwest will feature coverage of the Portland Trail Blazers
as the flagship programming as well as other compelling sports content. The
network will be owned and operated by Comcast SportsNet and launch in October
2007 in time for the 2007-2008 NBA season. Comcast SportsNet will have a strong
local presence and carry original programming from studio facilities at the
Rose Garden and other locations.
“Comcast SportsNet will dramatically increase exposure for the Trail
Blazers and bring sports fans more news, updates and analysis about the teams,
players and games that they care about the most,” said Comcast SportsNet
President Jon Litner. “We look forward to partnering with the Trail
Blazers and serving sports fans in this region with the same innovative brand
of comprehensive, local coverage that we feature in our other markets.”
“We are thrilled to partner with Comcast SportsNet and feel that sports
and throughout the Northwest are going to be the true winners,” said Trail
Blazers Executive Vice President, Business Operations Mike Golub. “Our
partnership will serve sports fans in ways never before possible and deliver an
unprecedented amount of Trail Blazers games, programming and access.”
During its launch season Comcast SportsNet Northwest will carry at least 55
regular season Trail Blazers games, which when combined with the Trail Blazers’
over-the-air coverage, means that 81 regular season Trail Blazers games will be
on television next season, the most in the team’s history. Comparatively, the
Trail Blazers had 61 total regular season games on television last season.
Comcast SportsNet Northwest will also dramatically increase the number of Trail
Blazers’ games in HDTV by nearly 200%, airing 28 of 36 home games in HDTV.
Other programming will include expanded pre-game and post-game Trail Blazers
analysis, selected pre-season and playoff games, a season preview, and specials
focused on the NBA draft, the all-star game, and the playoffs. Comcast
SportsNet Northwest will also cover a variety of other sports relevant to fans
in the region, including a daily morning news show with the latest highlights,
updates and stats. The network will provide fans with multimedia sports content
online and through video on demand. Additional programming details will be
announced before the network launches this fall.
Litner also announced that Dave Manougian will oversee the launch of Comcast
SportsNet Northwest and hire a local management team. Manougian, who is based
Portland and a graduate of
University, is executive
vice president of sports programming for Comcast Corporation and CEO of The
Golf Channel, also owned by Comcast. Last month Comcast named Page Thompson as
president of The Golf Channel, allowing Manougian to focus on broader strategic
projects for The Golf Channel and Comcast. During Manougian’s tenure with The
Golf Channel, the network has enjoyed 13 straight years of revenue and
subscriber growth, and he formed the network’s new media division to deliver
cross-platform content on mobile devices and via video on demand. Previously he
was a sales and marketing executive for Nike.
Comcast SportsNet will be carried on Comcast Cable systems in the Northwest and
made available to other cable and satellite providers throughout the region.
In addition to today’s announcement, last month Comcast announced that it will
acquire Cablevision’s stakes in FSN New England and FSN Bay Area. Following the
completion of those transactions, which are anticipated to close later this
year pending regulatory approval, Comcast SportsNet will manage those two
networks, home to the NBA’s Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors, MLB’s San
Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics, the NHL’s San Jose Sharks, and other