Paul Allen and the Portland Trail Blazers have been trying to carve out a television niche for themselves for the better part of the last fifteen years. They’re hoping that their renewed broadcast contract with Comcast SportsNet Northwest will let them put down some roots (but not the Root Sports kind).

The Blazers and CSN Northwest agreed to a four-year extension that keeps what has been a controversial partnership intact for at least a while longer. The original deal gave CSN exclusive rights through 2017 but the new deal means Portland fans will have to tune in to them through at least 2020-2021.

The extension comes as a bit of a shock to some, as CSN does not currently have distribution agreements with satellite providers such as DirecTV or Dish Network, which has caused many Trail Blazers fans to miss out on broadcasts. As of right now, Comcast reaches only 55 percent of the Portland media market.

According to Joe Freeman at The Oregonian, the team was working on a potential side deal that would have switched broadcasting partners to a combination between local broadcaster KPTV and an internet streaming partner, which would have basically given anyone anywhere the chance to watch games. According to Portland media member John Canzano, Twitter was one of, if not the options considered. Ultimately, the deal fell through.

At that point the franchise looked at regional broadcaster ROOT Sports, which is owned by DirecTV, but owner Paul Allen reportedly nixed the deal for not having enough reach.

As a sneaky little side note, the reason ROOT’s reach is in question is because their deal with Comcast is ending soon, and if it isn’t renewed it only puts ROOT in 33 percent of Portland households. One can only wonder if Comcast was playing both sides on that negotiation.

So as you can imagine, many fans aren’t too pleased that the Blazers are sticking with what has been a very limited option for audiences. Some were so enraged there was even talk of a team boycott.

The Blazers, however, tried to build in some new additions to the Comcast deal that they hope will appease fans and make it easier for people to watch games even if they don’t have cable.

NBA reporter Chris Haines says the new deal includes a worldwide streaming option for select games that will be begin in the 2017-2018 season.

Meanwhile, Blazers’ in-house writer Casey Holdahl says the team is working to stream games in the Pacific Northwest without any blackouts.

As for Portland fans with a satellite dish? They’re still SOL unless Comcast and the providers work out a deal, which doesn’t sound very likely for the time being.

So what’s the conclusion for Trail Blazers fans? If you’ve got cable, make sure Comcast SportsNet is in your package. If you’re a cord cutter, consider Sony Vue. If you’re a satelitte subscriber…have fun at the bars that carry the games, I guess.

[Oregon Live/Blazers Edge]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to

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