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ROOT Sports is a struggling regional sports network that covers sports stories around the Pacific Northwest. The network is currently home to the Seattle Mariners, West Coast Conference basketball, UFC fighting, and the Portland Timbers; in other words, the network has fallen on hard times since the launch of the Pac-12 Networks prior to the 2012 college football season. There is a major hole in the networks scheduling, and it could be mostly filled thanks to the rumored NHL expansion franchise.
The NHL franchise would bring the network 81 regular season games to the schedule — and pre-season and potential playoff games — that could bring thousands of viewers to the networks TV screens during what has become a dead period. Those viewers could make it easier for the network to acquire advertising money and would thus help the network with its financials.
Another great thing that ROOT Sports will get from is the programming opportunities that would be created by signing the NHL team to a contract. The network would have the pre-game show, post-game show, season preview and recap, and all-star game coverage. Add in the fact that the network would also give the network random games to show over, and over again — ever watch Mariners’ Mondays?
Seattle is one of the better market media markets in the country, and there is no reason that a RSN should struggle financially. There are 6.9 million people in the state of Washington and 4.2 million in Oregon, and those 10.5 million should be more than enough for the network to thrive with the plethora of sports options in the area — the WHL, Northwest League, Spokane Shock, and the Seattle Storm all have large enough followings to support the network.
The potential NHL team brings a lot of good news to ROOT Sports and its programming team.