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.More