Answers about Comcast, League Pass, etc.

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
#1
http://forums.sacbee.com/kings_tv/

Here are the questions and answers Josh duLac and Clint Swett addressed during their "chat"...

Dish Network

Posted by tcuzz
September 15, 2004 at 10:52 AM
Question: Am I going to get dissed because I have Dish? What's up with that, guys? How come the Kings are in bed with Comcast, of all companies? And who really cares about Duke?

answer: Good morning; let's get this party started. Getting dissed because you've got a dish - DISH Network-branded or otherwise - is a very popular question around these parts. And here's the unpopular answer: We couldn't even begin to tell you whether or not (Your Satellite or Smallish Cable Provider's Name Here) will strike a deal with Comcast to carry this new network. Well, we could; but we'd just be guessing. Here's the good news for the non-Comcast crew: The cable goliath has publicly promised to offer the channel to the competing Davids throughout the Central Valley. And given the success of sports programming in general and the overwhelming popularity of the Kings in particular - not to mention the fear of losing customers to Comcast - DISH, DirecTV, Charter, SureWest and so on absolutely want to add the new regional sports network. They've all told us as much. But they've also told us that they don't want to pay a king's ransom for the privilege. So, let the haggling begin. And let the countdown to the Nov. 2 opener at Dallas begin, too. That will, of course, be an "As Seen On TV" game ... but only for those folks whose pay-TV providers carry the Comcast channel. As for why the Kings got in bed with Comcast in the first place: Try 777,000 subscribers throughout the Central Valley. The collective competition doesn't come close to touching that figure. - J. Freedom
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
#2
Kings on TV
Posted by suarez
September 15, 2004 at 11:10 AM
Question: It's nice that more Kings games will be on TV. But will they be on a channel I can get without getting the premium cable package? Why not have them all on Ch. 10?

answer: Sure is nice: I can't think of a better way to pass the winter months than by watching Greg Ostertag on TV almost nightly. Then again, I *will* have to see the guy in high-def during home games. Hmmm. Anyway, there's no way the entire schedule could be carried by News10; the network suits at ABC would never allow the station to bump that much prime-time programming. (Not that ABC's prime-time schedule is particularly strong; but still.) And from a strategic standpoint, this deal makes better sense for the Kings. Think about it: A bunch of their games will now be seen throughout the Central Valley - including markets, like Fresno, that have their own ABC affiliates and, thus, don't get to see any of News10's programming. - J. Freedom
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
#3
Cable range question.
Posted by StacyOrtiz
September 15, 2004 at 12:49 PM
Question: What will be the actual range for this new cable deal? I live in Oakland and was hoping that this new cable deal will be included in my area. The Ortiz family is in dire need of more Sacramento Kings TV time!! We currently subscribe to Comcast Digital Cable. Please advise. Thank you for your time.

answer: Looks like the Kings junkies in the Ortiz family will have to pony up about $180 for NBA League Pass. That will likely get you the 65 regular-season games that are not on TNT, ESPN or ESPN 2. That's about $2.75 a game, slightly cheaper than a video from Blockbuster.
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
#4
league pass
Posted by momoney
September 15, 2004 at 7:06 PM
Question: we are located between Sacto and Chico. Comcast is not available in our area. We purchase the league pass and watch all of the kings games. Do you think as it stands now with no deal between comcast and directv I will still be able to view the kings games on the league pass? If there is a deal do you think directv will charge subscribers to view the comcast channel? I have to pay the first installment on the league pass in 2 weeks. What would you do?

answer: If you are getting League Pass just to watch Kings games, you are probably out of luck. Just hope that DirecTV cuts a deal with Comcast to carry the regional sports network. If they do, DirecTV could conceivably put it in the Sports Pack (which includes Fox Sports and other regional networks from around the country) and charge $10 to $12 a month for the package. That's still cheaper than League Pass, however.
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
#5
NBALP Blackout?
Posted by NoBonus
September 15, 2004 at 10:33 PM
Question: Will NBA League Pass be blacking-out all of the Kings games in the Sacramento valley area because of this new deal?

answer: Ah, the good old League Pass issue. No matter what happens in Comcast's negotiations with DISH, DirecTV and so on, NBA League Pass subscribers in the Sacramento region won't get to see a single Kings game using that service. All blackouts, all the time. One thing to consider as you grumble over your granola over this news: NBA League Pass was never intended to be a delivery system for a local team's telecasts. It's always been there to provide a supplemental package of games featuring other teams in other markets. Last season was an aberration, with the Kings' strange, cable-less situation. But pretend last season never happened. Come to think of it, I'm sure the Kings would like to do just that. - J. Freedom
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
#6
Dish Network
Posted by Kendall
September 16, 2004 at 6:39 AM
Question: I'm in a panic. I got Dish Network. I hear they are negotiating but I won't be happy until the deal is done. I really don't want to fork out another 150.00 for league pass. Any word on when and if a deal will be reached with DISH?

answer: Take a deep breath. Count to seven. And then repeat - especially as we tell you that, no, there's absolutely no word on when and if a deal will be reached with DISH.
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
#7
Announcers
Posted by BRMachine
September 16, 2004 at 7:29 AM
Question: Can we expect the same local announcing crew that have covered previous years?

answer: I can't guarantee you that the ever-popular Rupe the Hoop will be back. But Grant Napear and Jerry Reynolds are under contract to do the play-by-play and analysis. You'll also see more of sideline reporter Jim Kozimor, who is in the unfortunate position of having to do far too many reports on companies that have business alliances with the Kings. But that's another gripe for another day. - J. Freedom
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
#8
Other Local Sports
Posted by NoBonus
September 16, 2004 at 8:26 AM
Question: Will other local sporting events be broadcast on this new channel? I am referring to events like local semi-professional baseball, semi-professional football, college level sports, and so on.

answer: The folks at Comcast say they have had preliminary discussions with teams like the River Cats, Sac State, UC-Davis, UN-Reno and Fresno State. Whether that turns into actual programming remains to be seen. Not sure how excited they would be about broadcasting high school sports, but they DO have a lot of air time to fill.
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
#9
Kings Games on NBA League Pass on DirecTV
Posted by gbubar
September 16, 2004 at 8:31 AM
Question: I live in Vacaville, CA and have received the Kings games via Fox Sports Bay Area, Channel 31 or 10 and/or the NBA League Pass on DirecTV the last four years. The only games which were blacked out was when the Kings were on Channel 31 or Channel 10. I have confirmed that Comcast Cable in Vacaville will carry the new sports channel. I have also confirmed that the Kings are classified as my home team in regards to the NBALP. Vacaville is far enough away from Arco Arena to not be effected by the NBA mileage restrictions. Now my question; Will the Kings games be blacked out for me on DirecTV?

answer: If Comcast in Vacaville carries the new sports channel, then DirecTV will not carry it unless they reach a deal with Comcast to buy the broadcast rights. It will be blacked out on NBA League Pass for your area.
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
#10
Subscriber issues
Posted by flr
September 16, 2004 at 8:33 AM
Question: I think this new deal is great. The Kings could develop a fan base that stretches down to the Central Valley. Unfortunately, I don't use Comcast...and neither do most of my neighbors in the Natomas area. Do you have a sense of whether this new station will be made available to other cable and satellite providers?

answer: Yes, the network carrying the 58 additional Kings games will be made available - for a price. Whether your cable or satellite provider chooses to pay the price Comcast is asking (and they haven't told us how much that is) will determine whether your system will carry the games.
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
#11
Paid Programming
Posted by NoBonus
September 16, 2004 at 8:56 AM
Question: Will this new local sports channel have regularly scheduled programming and sport event re-runs to fill time slots or will the empty time slots be filled with paid programming and hour-long commercials?

answer: Hard to say because the programming lineup hasn't been set, but Comcast's Philadelphia sports network has local sports talk, some national sports roundup shows, NASCAR, golf shows and, yes, paid programming. I'm assuming there will be lots of reruns, too.
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
#12
Kings in bay area
Posted by robzkings
September 16, 2004 at 9:38 AM
Question: I am a BIG Kings fan and live in San Jose I currently have comcast. Will I be able to view the Kings or what can I do?

answer: NBA League Pass is probably your best bet, if Comcast offers it in your market. But you won't get the regional sports network, just the Kings games. And not necessarily the Kings broadcasters, either. Sometimes you see the feed from the other team's broadcast.
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
#13
out of area fans
Posted by dukespot
September 16, 2004 at 9:39 AM
Question: Do you know if Kings fans living outside of the Sacramento/Central Valley area will be able to access the new network? I live in the Bay Area, where there are plenty of Kings fans, and since Comcast is the major cable provider here, I was wondering if they would make the new network available for Bay Area subscribers. Thanks.

answer: Comcast tells me that they have no plans to carry the regional sports network, including Kings games, on their Bay Area systems. There are two reasons. First, NBA territorial rules say they can't carry Kings games within another team's (Warriors') territory. (Not sure why that doesn't apply to NBA League Pass, but maybe Josh knows.) Second, a lot of the network's non-Kings programming will be of primary interest to Sacramento Valley residents, and of lesser interest to Bay Area folks. Thus, other than Kings games, viewership would likely be pretty weak.
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
#14
Kings TV deal
Posted by GoodEncounter
September 16, 2004 at 9:40 AM
Question: Last year the Maloofs said they wanted to make Kings games available to all Kings fans. By signing a deal with Comcast it forces fans to change their cable/satellite service and doesn't accomplish what they said they wanted. As an avid Kings fan I am very disturbed by this move. I am quite happy with my satellite service and do not want to change it just to watch Kings games. We endured last season with limited televised games in the hopes the Maloofs would come through with their promise. I am so upset with this deal and hope something will be done to accommodate those of us who don't subscribe to Comcast. Thank you

answer: The executives at Maloof say they are still committed to getting the most games to the most people, which is why they insisted that Comcast make the regional sports network available to competitors - for a price. They said they insisted that it be a fair price, but neither Maloof nor Comcast is saying what the price might be. It's in Maloof interests to get the most games to the most viewers, so I think they are sincere about that. Stay tuned to see whether your cable or satellite company decides it's a fair price.
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
#15
why must you diss O-tag??
Posted by angel
September 16, 2004 at 10:16 AM
Question: Granted I've never been a huge fan of his but he is a King this season and will actually be more vital to the Kings than old Vlade. Give the guy a break he voluntarily came here even though we have a Cancer on our team (webber)

answer: I wasn't dissing Ostertag. I was quoting a fan who said that a team featuring Ostertag at center wouldn't be enough to get him to switch back to Comcast from satellite, even if it meant missing 58 Kings games this season. J. FREEDOM adds: Clint, I think Mrs. Ostertag was referring to my earlier post in which I noted how excited I was about being able to see so much of The Big O this season - in high-def, no less. As for Webber: He's a Cancer? Really? And here I thought all this time that Webb was a Pisces. Go figure.
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
#16
League Pass black out areas
Posted by TruckeeKingsFan
September 16, 2004 at 10:22 AM
Question: We live in Truckee, CA. have DishNetwork and Comcast is NOT available in our area. Will the games be blacked out on League Pass. What are the black out areas?

answer: Ed Desser, the NBA's top TV exec, describes the Kings' blackout territory thusly: "It's 75 miles from the Sacramento city limits in any direction except West, where you'll butt up against the Warriors' territory." Last time I looked at a map, Truckee was more than 75 miles out. So you should be good to go with League Pass - though there are some rumblings that Charter, the big cable company in Reno, could pick up the new Comcast channel, as well.
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
#17
Can we really watch that much 00
Posted by nodoublezero
September 16, 2004 at 10:45 AM
Question: Hi Clint and J. So, what I really want to know is, how in the heck am I supposed to watch that much double zero. And while I don't have hi-def...even in low-def, it's gonna be painful. Any words of advice?

answer: With both eyes closed? Clint is really the expert here in watching painful NBA action. He is, after all, a long-suffering Warriors fan.
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
#18
First Broadcast
Posted by BRMachine
September 16, 2004 at 10:46 AM
Question: When will be able to see the first programs? Will it be with the first King's game, or before.

answer: Great question. The last time we checked with Comcast, they didn't have a start date for the network. In fact, they didn't even have a name for it (though Freedom Sports Net sure has a nice ring to it). I would guess that they'd really like to get the thing going before the Kings' first pre-season game, if only to make sure everything works once they flip the switch. But that's just a guess.
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
#19
just kidding
Posted by nodoublezero
September 16, 2004 at 10:50 AM
Question: So, I live in Sacramento and I have Comcast digital cable. Am I going to be able to see all of the games? Should I purchase league pass. What about if I decide to switch to Dish or Directv...will I still be able to see the Kings. Am I being too sarcastic? Should I stop?

answer: Yes, you are being too sarcastic. No, you shouldn't stop - though somebody will no doubt see this post and say, with absolutely no hint of irony: Damn, she asked my questions.
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
#20
Programming Suggestion
Posted by BRMachine
September 16, 2004 at 10:57 AM
Question: Great chat guys! I propose filling time slots with Royal Court Dancer profiles. Just a suggestion.

answer: Does your boss know you're spending all this time on the Internet when you should be working, instead? Clint and I are ashamed - and especially Clint, since he's a business writer - that we're contributing to the decline in workplace productivity. But thanks for hanging out, anyway. As for the Royal Court Dancer profiles: That sort of stuff already exists on cable, no? It's called Spike TV.
 
#24
I got three of my questions answered this time! Grrrrreat! I had a lot more questions about the content of the channel, but I guess that is still up in the air.