Press Release: Blazers To Stream Games, With Restrictions

UPDATE: I’ve received some questions pertaining to the specifics of the streaming package the team is making available. In an effort to ensure you can make your buying decision using correct information, a few clarifications.

– The stream the team is providing through Neulion is specifically meant to benefit households that are not able to receive Comcast Sports Net programming. So for instance, if you live in a remote area that Comcast, Charter or some other cable provider cannot or will not run cable to, you are eligible to purchase the streaming package. Same goes for people who, for instance, live on houseboats.

It is true that, if you live in an area that you could get cable service – and thus receive Comcast Sports Net programming – but choose not to for whatever reason, the streaming package will not be available to you. The team is providing this service, very likely at a financial loss, explicitly for fans who cannot get Comcast Sports Net programming, not for those who are choosing not to utilize Comcast, Charter or some other cable company as their television service provider.

Take a look at the map at the bottom of the page. If you live in an areas that is NOT in red, you can likely purchase the stream. And if you do live in one of those area but Comcast won’t get cable to your home, there’s a possibility you will be able to purchase the stream.

Neulion uses IP verification to deem whether a household is in a location where the stream is available for purchase, as IP address is more exact in targeting a specific location than zip code verification. If you believe you are in a location where streaming should be available but are not able to access the stream, please contact Neulion customer support.

– For those asking “Why not just get League Pass instead?” the answer is that the NBA, not the Trail Blazers, blacks out cable games in EVERY market by a radius of at least 150 miles from the team’s city. So you could purchase League Pass, but Trail Blazers games broadcasted on Comcast Sports Net would still be blacked out with 150 miles of Portland. The NBA blackout also applies to over-the-air games (in this case, games shown on KGW) withing a 75 mile radius. That is a decision made on the league level. Unfortunately, it is not a decision the Trail Blazers have much, if any, sway over.

As an aside, NBA League pass has various pricing tiers. League Pass purchased through your cable or satellite provider costs $199.00 a season. League Pass Broadband, which would allow you to stream games to your computer or other Internet On TV device costs $139.99 (though again, if you live within 150 miles of Portland, Trail Blazers games would still be subject to blackout), which is significantly more than the $99 package the Trail Blazers are providing. League Pass Mobile, which allows you to stream games on your phone, but is also subject to the same blackout restrictions as the other services, costs $54.99 a season.

ORIGINAL POST

Coming on the heels of Ben Golliver’s report that the Trail Blazers offering streaming, the team put out a press release this morning detailing how the service will work and who will actually be able to access it.

The Portland Trail Blazers will again offer live streaming of games broadcasted on Comcast SportsNet within NBA-approved territory where the network is currently unavailable. Access to streaming will begin Friday, Nov. 8 as the team hosts the Sacramento Kings. The 58-game package is available for $99.99.

“As an organization, we want to ensure that Trail Blazers fans throughout the region have the ability to access our game broadcasts,” said Chris McGowan, President & CEO of the Trail Blazers and Moda Center. “One step toward accomplishing that is through live streaming in areas that have no other viewing option.”

Portland has a history of providing online access to game broadcasts. The Trail Blazers became the first NBA franchise to begin streaming its games, dating back to the 2009-2010 season. Since then, the team has provided a streaming option every season.

Fans that live in areas where CSN is not available can order the 58-game package by visiting trailblazerslive.neulion.com. The Trail Blazers partnered with NeuLion, Inc. (TSX: NLN) to provide the streaming platform.

The important thing to remember is this is only available for households that cannot get Comcast SportsNet Northwest (as in, the actual channel). If you’re a satellite costumer that COULD get Comcast SportsNet but chooses not to change your service provider, you CANNOT purchase this stream. As I read it, even people who do have Comcast SportsNet Northwest cannot purchase this stream.

Below is am approximate rendering of where CSN is available, meaning that if you live in any of the highlighted areas, you most likely WILL NOT be able to access the stream.

CSN Availability