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Mariners blog

Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

Category: television
April 17, 2013 at 9:12 AM

Few things in Seattle sports will top yesterday’s Mariners news in terms of impact

The Mariners had spruced up their ballpark ahead of yesterday's major TV announcement as the franchise continues to send its value soaring.

The Mariners had spruced up their ballpark ahead of yesterday’s major TV announcement as the franchise continues to send its value soaring.

There was a point yesterday when a reader on Twitter asked me whether the announcement of a new regional sports network owned by the Mariners and minority partner DirecTV was the same as the pending big new television deal I’ve been writing was coming for over a year now.

My answer to him was: yes, yes and emphatically yes.

Part of me worried that we had done a poor job of transmitting the impact of yesterday’s move to readers, so it caused me to go back and pore over all that was written. Then again, I can’t blame readers if they were slightly ho-hum about the whole thing. After all, had you turned on the radio or flipped through the online news pages here and elsewhere and you’d have seen and heard a lot of time, space and energy devoted to whether there may or may not be a vote on a basketball franchise that may or may not be coming to Seattle this week, next week or some other week.

The nature of sports and — sometimes — those who cover it is to treat news like a sporting event, where you root and cheer and analyze every tidbit in hopes of figuring out who is going to win or lose.

But in terms of the Mariners and their purchase of a regional sports network (RSN), the news was signed, sealed and delivered yesterday. The final score is in and the Mariners won big. Years from now, when readers are looking back at online archives and some stories catch their eye, you can bet they won’t be tranfixed by the latest installment in the daily soap opera of when the Sacramento Kings vote will actually take place.

No, their eyes will almost certainly be on the TV game-changer that occured yesterday. Because if the Kings ever do get moved to Seattle, it will likely be on the new Mariners-owned ROOT Sports RSN that their games as the newly-minted Sonics — and those of any incoming NHL franchise — are eventually shown. And if we’re to ever see a baseball, NBA or NHL franchise win a championship for this city, it will very well be because of what transpired yesterday and the vast new revenue source the RSN will bring the Mariners and their potential TV customer team clients.


Comments | More in television | Topics: howard lincoln; bob aylward; directv; RSN

April 16, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Mariners to assume a controlling interest in ROOT Sports

Well, this counts as ownership news, but not anything that involves a change at the top of the Mariners. Instead, a major piece  of the future revenue stream of the ballclub is about to be completed and announced and it involves the team assuming a controlling interest in ROOT Sports.

A hat-tip to colleague Jayson Jenks for first getting wind of the coming news.

This might not interest anyone as much as local ownership taking over the team, but it is still pretty important if you’re a fan. The Mariners, as noted this morning in the earlier blog post, are soon to have an opt-out clause in their regional sports network (RSN) contract with ROOT. By the end of 2015, the team can renegotiate its current deal that began in 2011.

Given the state of TV contracts across the nation — exploding in value — the timing could not be better.

Well, the Mariners have apparently gotten a jump on the whole process, as would be expected given how much time these things take.


Comments | More in television | Topics: root sports; rsn; revenue; mlb