Kraken fans wondering how they’d watch the team this coming season got a major new option Thursday when a deal was announced for online streaming service fuboTV carry the team’s ROOT Sports Northwest television broadcast partner.
The deal means online fuboTV subscribers can now stream all Kraken, Mariners and Portland Trail Blazers games carried by ROOT Sports instead of paying for the channel through a more costly major cable service provider.
“I think it’s a very important development in terms of getting full distribution for our network, including the Kraken and the Trail Blazers,” said Patrick Crumb, president of AT&T Sports Networks, which operates ROOT Sports and retains a minority stake in that regional sports network (RSN) alongside its majority Mariners owner. “It’s also very important for consumers that are asking for more streaming options. We think it’s a great thing for the fans, it’s a great thing for the teams, and we look forward to partnering with fubo.”
The only prior way to stream ROOT Sports locally has been through a subscription to DirecTV Stream — formerly AT&T TV — which starts at about $85 a month for packages that include RSN programming. FuboTV basic packages start at $65 a month, and ROOT Sports will be included within that offering.
Jennifer Press, a fuboTV spokesperson, said ROOT Sports will be made available by the streaming service “around the start of the NBA and NHL seasons.”
The fuboTV’s sports offering includes more than 50,000 live sporting events annually, many of those streaming in 4K. It also has more RSN content in its base package than any other live TV streaming platform.
The streaming service’s local Northwest coverage already included ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC affiliates in Seattle and Portland alongside national sports networks ESPN, FS1, CBS Sports Network, the Pac-12 Networks and others.
Crumb said it’s likely other streaming services might “potentially” be added in the not-too-distant future.
“This is the deal we’re ready to announce now,” he said. “Yes, we’re seeking distribution with all of the over-the-top (streaming) players, and as you know some of them don’t really carry RSNs. Some do, or some do selectively. And with the Kraken and Trail Blazers coming on board we think it makes it a more appealing product to have three pro teams.”