Portland Trail Blazers fans in southern Oregon frustrated with the lack of live game coverage over the past six years finally received some good news Thursday.
Comcast SportsNet Northwest and Charter Communications have announced a deal that will make CSNNW, the Blazers' primary broadcast partner since the 2007-08 season, available to Charter customers beginning Sept. 17. The station will be added to Charter's expanded basic cable package, which costs $59.99 a month.
The deal makes Charter the only cable or satellite TV provider in the Medford area that will offer CSNNW, which also features college and outdoor sports programming.
Blazers fans in Ashland already have access to CSNNW through Ashland Home Net.
"There's a lot of excitement here internally," Charter senior manager of communications Jack Hardy said. "Just looking at social media, there seems to be a lot of happy people, so it's really exciting. It's kind of a win-win."
Comcast SportsNet Northwest will be available on channel 427 and in high definition on channel 827.
In another TV-programing drama that's drawn the ire of local sports fans there is still no agreement between Pac-12 Networks and Charter or DirectTV, meaning the only option for those in the Rogue Valley outside of Ashland — Ashland Home Net carries Pac-12 Networks in its expanded basic package — who want the channel is Dish Network.
Pac-12 Networks features a wide range of live sporting events, including college football. This fall's lineup includes three games involving the Oregon Ducks, ranked No. 3 in the USA Today Top 25 preseason poll, and two involving the 25th-ranked Oregon State Beavers.
On Monday, Pac-12 Networks launched an advertising campaign that urges sports fans to dump DirectTV in favor of a local provider that offers Pac-12 Networks.
DirectTV did not respond to interview requests. As for Charter, Hardy said negotiations are ongoing.
"It's something that we want to provide to our customers as well, but it's got to be an agreement that's reasonable for both companies," he said.
When asked if a deal may be reached before the start of the upcoming college football season, Hardy said, "There's always that hope, but I don't know how close we are at this point. We're hopeful."