The Wizards, Monumental Network and online streaming

October 11, 2013
(Via @Unsilent)
(Via @Unsilent)

I wrote earlier this week how a combination of NBA rules and Comcast SportsNet programming decisions meant that the Wizards’ preseason opener against the Nets Bulls was not available on local televisions. (At least, it wasn’t supposed to be. Some lucky scoundrels found it on an overflow channel.)

Some fans, of course, were disappointed, while also arguing that this team needs all the exposure it can get. Ted Leonsis, evidently, agrees. He wrote about the topic on his blog Thursday afternoon:

Monumental Network would love to stream all games that Comcast SportsNet chooses NOT to produce and show to our fans, such as Tuesday’s home game against Brooklyn. We have the production capabilities to stream the games as we have done previously for Capitals preseason games, Caps rookie games, Mystics games and a DC United game….

I just want to set the record straight: We would like every game to be broadcast. CSN has been a great partner, and we would like them to broadcast every one of our games. If they elect not to broadcast a game, however, we would like them to give us permission to stream the game on Monumental Network. We will pay and provide the production for games to be streamed because we want our fans to be able to see every single game.

Comcast SportsNet declined to comment on Leonsis’s blog post. The network had previously declined to allow Monumental Network or Caps.com to stream a preseason Caps game last month, which Leonsis also blogged about.

Just for fun, let me remind you of a recent Tom Heath column about Monumental Network.

Leonsis must expand the revenue base beyond the traditional tickets, refreshments, merchandise, in-house advertising, radio and television. One path is to own a local sports network, which is where the possibility of real revenue growth lies. That path is currently blocked because both teams have long-term broadcasting contracts with Comcast. Monumental’s new media push may be a temporary fix until Leonsis can get his regional sports television network.

The new Web site “is a precursor to a much bigger media play for us,” Leonsis said. “The long-range goal is to own our own means of distribution. The most successful sports teams right now are successful because they own their own regional sports networks.”

In other words, this continues to be a situation worth watching.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.
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Sarah Kogod · October 11, 2013

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