Picture courtesy of TrailBlazers.com
Watching the Portland Trail Blazers in Cottage Grove has not been an easy task.
This has nothing to do with their middling .500 record but because 71 of their regular season games are only broadcast via Comcast which is not available to Cottage Grove consumers.
“Comcast has never been down here,” said Cottage Grove City Manager Richard Meyers.
“There’s no market here. The market is so small, the take rate is small because we have great over the air service from South Lane TV.”
The take rate is the “amount of people that actually subscribe. So if you go by 10 houses, how many actually subscribe and join up. And so it’s grown and improved over the last couple years as a result of their expansion and fiber and data services that they are providing now,” said Meyers.
The current cable and satellite options for Cottage Grove residents include Charter Spectrum Cable, Dish TV and DirecTV. This means that except for the 11 nationally televised games this season, Blazers fans are not able to view regular season games. This has been the case since the CSN became the sole broadcaster of games in 2007. During the summer the partnership was renewed until the 2020-21 NBA season. This partnership especially impacts small towns around the state where Comcast does not reach.
But as TV viewing habits continue to shift from cable to a streaming-based service model, the Blazers have gotten on board. Last spring, Blazers broadcasts started streaming with Playstation VUE. This streaming service, which can be accessed through PlayStation consoles, AppleTV, Google Chromecasts and a host of other platforms, can give viewers over 90 channels and runs from $39.99 a month up to $74.99.
This season, fans can also get games through similarly priced Hulu TV, Fubo Premier or NBC’s Blazers Pass which lets the viewer pick 15 games they would like to watch. The YouTube TV service that also provides games is not yet available in Cottage Grove.
Due to NBA blackout restrictions, which take place when a game is “televised locally in your area via a regional sports network or an over-the-air station” according to NBA.com, fans are unable to use the NBA’s streaming service NBA League Pass to watch the Blazers, Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors.
Hulu TV: $39.99 per month (first week free)
Playstation Vue: $39.99 per month + $10.00 a month for Sports Package
Fubu Premier: $39.99 a month (first two months at $19.99 a month)
Blazers Pass via NBC Sports Northwest: $34.99 for 15 games of your choice