FSN Northwest and the Seattle Mariners today announced a long-term rights agreement extension that solidifies FSN’s position as the Mariners exclusive television partner. A significant new element of the partnership will begin in 2008, when FSN will televise all available Mariners games (except games restricted by MLB national TV agreements), which will result in the network delivering exclusively a minimum of 150 game telecasts. Another important aspect of the agreement calls for FSN to produce significantly more Mariners games in high definition on FSN HD.
Mariners President Chuck Armstrong said, “FSN has been an excellent partner of the Mariners and sports fans of the Northwest since 1994. For several years, fans have asked that all of our games be televised, and this new package accomplishes that. We believe FSN’s regional coverage of Mariners Baseball has been an important connection to the community.”
(Read The Biz of Baseball interview with Chuck Armstrong)
Fans will benefit from additional new elements of the partnership, including:
Significantly More Mariners Games in High Definition (HDTV)
Beginning in 2008, the number of Mariners games produced in high definition on FSN HD will drastically increase, bringing the number of events annually on FSN HD to over 200.
FSN to Produce Mariners Spanish Audio for All Home Games
Ensuring Spanish-speaking fans in the region will be able to follow the Mariners, FSN has agreed to produce and distribute a Spanish audio feed of all home games. FSN will also make the Spanish language feed available to all of the network’s distribution partners on the Secondary Audio Programming (SAP) channel, and will work with the Mariners to grow a Spanish radio network.
“The extension of our partnership with the Mariners reaffirms FSN Northwest as the region’s leader in local sports and the primary destination for fans to turn to and follow their hometown teams,” said Senior Vice President and General Manager Mark Shuken. “We have solidified the strength of this network for years to come with the desired quantity of games, quality of partners and exclusive opportunities for programming. The Mariners have worked very hard to build a loyal following and we’re proud to be in the position to showcase this great organization across the region.”
The Mariners on FSN have traditionally garnered some of the highest ratings in all of baseball. In 2007, from April through September, Mariners telecasts on FSN were the highest–rated primetime programming in the Seattle DMA, beating all broadcast and cable competition, averaging a 9.0. Overall, FSN’s Mariners telecasts finished with an 8.2 rating in 2007, nearly a 40% increase from the 2006 season. For eight consecutive seasons, from 1996-2003, the Mariners led all MLB teams in television ratings. The Mariners also continue to be a strong product for FSN Northwest in Portland, averaging a 2.3 rating over the past three seasons.
Viewers will continue to receive the most extensive coverage of any MLB team, including:
Mariners Live Before and After Every Game.
Mariners Live gives fans 30 minutes of the latest insights and analysis on the Mariners and all of baseball leading in to the game, then at least an additional 30 minutes of fast-paced action with highlights and reaction from both clubhouses after the game.
Mariners All Access
FSN gets you behind the scenes with exclusive access you can't get anywhere else to learn more about every facet of the Mariners organization. For all of those moments that happen off the field, FSN presents Mariners All Access.
Mariners Nightly Spring Training Show
Nothing captures the excitement of baseball’s return like Spring Training, and FSN will bring that atmosphere into the homes of Mariners fans in the Northwest every night throughout the month of March with Mariners Nightly. FSN will provide 30 minutes of complete coverage every night from the Peoria Sports Complex, detailing the latest with the Mariners roster, providing tips for fans making the trip to Arizona and giving viewers the first look at the new and returning players.
Distribution to all five states in the Northwest region
Extending the Mariners coverage to viewers across the Northwest, FSN carries the telecasts to all of Washington, Oregon, and parts of Idaho, Montana, Alaska, and Canada. In all, Mariners telecasts will reach over 3.4 million homes.
Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also an author for Baseball Prospectus, Basketball Prospectus and is an available writer for other media outlets.
He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted here.