SBD/10/Sports Media

BLAZING A DIFFERENT TRAIL: COULD TEAM START-UP ITS OWN RSN?

          The Trail Blazers are "ready to pull the plug" on its
     BlazerVision PPV system, but "still won't say where the
     telecasts might turn up next season," according to John Hunt
     of the Portland OREGONIAN.  The team could "retain
     BlazerVision but reduce prices further, work out a deal with
     an existing cable company such as Fox Sports Net Northwest
     (FSNNW), or start its own cable network."  Hunt wrote that
     the Blazers "would be wise" to drop BlazerVision because the
     service "has gained a stigma among many fans who resent
     having to pay to watch their own team."  The option of
     striking a deal with FSNNW is "still on ice."  Meanwhile,
     Hunt called the task of starting its own cable net an
     "ambitious" choice, as the team would "have a hard time
     matching the distribution" of FSNNW, which reaches 98% of
     cable homes in the Northwest (OREGONIAN, 5/7).  
          BARGAIN VIEWING? In Houston, David Barron wrote that
     the Rockets "continue to be one of just three NBA teams,"
     along with the Blazers and the Spurs, which offer local
     playoff games on PPV, but the Rockets' $19.95 cost is the
     lowest of the three (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 5/9).     

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