In December of 2012, BendBroadband attempted to negotiate a deal with Root Sports that would be a win-win for them and our customers. Unfortunately, we could not reach an agreement.
Why couldn’t you reach an agreement?
We disagreed on which customers should pay for and receive Root Sports, which is an expensive channel. We wanted customers to be able to elect to pay for Root as part of our Preferred package or on a Sports Tier. However, Root Sports insisted that 80% of our customers; those in both the Preferred and Essentials Packages, pay for a channel that the vast majority did not watch.
By not renewing our agreement we kept costs as low as possible for the majority of our customers and prevented a dramatic video price increase across the board.
It was a very difficult decision as we too are sports fans and love to cheer for our local teams. But in the end, we were compelled to take a stand to keep prices affordable for customers. If we don’t, programmers will continue to make unreasonable demands.
What are the alternative channels where I can catch what I used to see on Root Sports?
Pac-12 Conference games: Root Sports continues to show limited Pac-12 games, but the majority of their Pac-12 live coverage has moved to other networks. BendBroadband Essential and Preferred Cable TV customers can access live coverage on the Pac-12 National and Pac-12 Oregon channels. Essentials and Preferred customers also have access to the entire Pac-12 Network online at BendBroadband.com/2go. Additional PAC12 games are found on ESPN/ESPN2 and the broadcast networks.
Seattle Mariners baseball: No question – Root Sports does offer a lot of Mariners baseball. Some Mariner games will continue to air on ESPN, ESPN2, MLB Network and TBS. Fans can also sign up to watch condensed game video in HD, archived game video in HD, and daily video highlights the day following the game OR stream live audio of all MLB games online at mybendbroadband.com. For more information on how to sign up, click here.
Portland Timbers soccer: Selected Timbers coverage can be found on ESPN and ESPN2.
Will there ever be an opportunity to add Root Sports back to your channel lineup?
While we have attempted to reopen negotiations, Root Sports remains unwilling to change their position on carriage of the network. We remain open to a fair deal for our customers.
In recent news, The Mariners have purchased a majority ownership in Root Sports from current owner DirectTV. The Mariners contract with Root Sports is up in 2015. We will monitor this developing situation and will continue to explore opportunities to bring back Root Sports to BendBroadband subscribers.