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IMG and Coincast: Screwing us Over (Surprise, Surprise)

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Are you going to see many Duck games this year? Before you answer that question, there are some things you should know.

That deal with IMG. You know, the one that's paying for the sweet new scoreboard at Auzten, as well as the new baseball and basketball scoreboards? It doesn't come free. Some sketchy things are about to happen, and its a lot of us who stand to get screwed.

We only have four national TV games scheduled this year: Washington, USC, OSU, and Purdue. More will be picked up, especially if we are as successful as we think we will be this season. But we also know that many of our games will be on OSN--likely starting with the Utah State game in week two. For the last ten years, this has worked out well--tune into your local ABC affiliate, or get ESPN GamePlan if you're out of state, and you're gold. Unfortunately, that's all changing this year.

Apparently, before the IMG deal, the University basically had an agreement with Chambers Communications to extend the contract for another five years. However, before any formal agreement was signed, the UO signed off with IMG, who presented terms that were no agreeable to Chambers. As a result,  Chambers was forced to punt on extending the contract, and we are left wtihout any OSN carriers less than a month before the season is to start.

Making matters worse, it seems that the contingency plan is to have OSN air on Comcast SportsNet Northwest.  Those of you who are Blazer fans will be familiar with this network, as it is the reason that most of the state can't get Blazer games.

For those of you not in the know, here is the deal with CSN.  Its mostly only Comcast customers that can get it.  Sure, they make it available to other providers, but at a price so exoborant that many have not been able to carry it.  To date, the only other carriers are Verizion FIOS in the Portland area, Ashland TV, and Scio Cablevision.  Got Satellite?  No CSN for you.  Live in an area not served by one of the above providers (and, living in Woodburn, I fall into that category), tough shit for you.  Served by a provider such as Charter or Wave?  There is no legal way for you to get Duck games.  Sorry.

But the University, IMG, and Comcast will all make a lot of money on this.  So they really couldn't care that we can't see the games.  I have no knowledge of how this will affect coverage on ESPN gameplan, but I'm fairly sure that Wave, the only cable carrier in Woodburn, doesn't offer GamePlan (nor am I sure that the wife would go for it even if they did).  So it may be a lot of Jerry Allen for me.

As both a Blazer fan and a Duck fan, Coincast can rot in hell.

GO DUCKS!!!

--Dave