Root Sports Northwest
|Root Sports Northwest|
(carries programming sourced from Fox Sports Networks)
|Owned by||Seattle Mariners (60%)
AT&T Sports Networks (40%)
|Picture format||720p (HDTV)
|Formerly called||Northwest Cable Sports
Prime Sports Northwest
Fox Sports Northwest
Fox Sports Net Northwest
(some events may air on overflow feed Root Sports Northwest Plus due to event conflicts)
|DirecTV||687 Main channel (SD/HD)
688 Overflow feed (SD)
688-1 Overflow feed (HD)
|Dish Network||412-16 (SD)
|Comcast (Seattle)||30 (SD)
|Comcast (Portland)||34 (SD)
|Available on most other cable systems in designated broadcast area||Consult your local cable provider or program listings source for channel availability|
Root Sports Northwest is an American regional sports network that is owned as a joint venture between the Seattle Mariners and the AT&T Sports Networks subsidiary of AT&T Inc., the latter of which operates it as part of the Root Sports chain of regional networks and as an affiliate of Fox Sports Networks. Headquartered near Seattle in the city of Bellevue, Washington, the channel broadcasts regional coverage of sports events throughout the Pacific Northwest, with a focus on professional sports teams based in Seattle and Portland.
Root Sports Northwest was launched in 1989 as Northwest Cable Sports, a network owned by King Broadcasting Company. In 1991, King Broadcasting sold Northwest Cable Sports and its other media properties to The Providence Journal Company, which sold the network to Liberty Media in 1992. Liberty integrated Northwest Cable Sports into its Prime Network group of regional sports networks, subsequently rebranding it as Prime Sports Northwest.
In 1996, News Corporation, which formed a sports division for the Fox network two years earlier after it obtained the broadcast rights to the National Football Conference and sought to create a group of regional sports networks, acquired a 50% interest in the Prime Network from Liberty. Later that year on November 1, News Corporation and Liberty Media relaunched the Prime Network affiliates as part of the new Fox Sports Net group, with the Seattle-based network officially rebranding as Fox Sports Northwest. The channel was rebranded as Fox Sports Net Northwest in 2000, as part of a collective brand modification of the FSN networks under the "Fox Sports Net" banner. Subsequently in 2004, the channel shortened its name to FSN Northwest, through the networks' de-emphasis of the "Fox Sports Net" brand.
On December 22, 2006, News Corporation sold its interest in FSN Northwest and sister networks FSN Utah, FSN Pittsburgh and FSN Rocky Mountain to Liberty Media, in an asset trade in which News Corporation also 16.3% traded its 38.5% ownership stake in satellite provider DirecTV for $550 million in cash and stock, in exchange for Liberty Media's stake in the company. On May 4, 2009, DirecTV Group Inc. announced it would become a part of Liberty's entertainment unit, part of which would then be spun off into the separate company under the DirecTV name, in a deal in which Liberty would increase its share in DirecTV from 48% to 54%, with Liberty owner John Malone and his family owning a 24% interest. DirecTV would operate its newly acquired FSN-affiliated networks through DirecTV Sports Networks, a new division formed when the split off from Liberty Media was completed on November 19, 2009.
On December 17, 2010, DirecTV Sports Networks announced that its four Fox Sports Networks-affiliated regional outlets would be relaunched under the "Root Sports" brand. The network officially rebranded as Root Sports Northwest' on April 1, 2011, with The Dan Patrick Show as the first program under the new Root Sports branding. For nominal purposes, the Root Sports networks continued to carry programming distributed mainly to the Fox Sports regional networks to provide supplementary sports and entertainment programming.
In April 2013, the Seattle Mariners announced that they would acquire controlling interest in Root Sports Northwest. DirecTV Sports Networks will retain a minority stake in the network and will continue to operate it. The Root Sports branding will be retained. Additionally, the team extended its contract with the network until the end of the 2030 season. On April 8, 2016, DirecTV Sports Networks rebranded under the AT&T name as AT&T Sports Networks.
Root Sports Northwest holds the regional cable television rights to the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders FC and Portland Timbers, and the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. The network also is the cable home of the NFL's Seattle Seahawks, broadcasting the team's preseason games as well as team-related magazine and analysis programming. It also carries Utah Jazz NBA games televised by sister network Root Sports Utah. As FSN Rocky Mountain, in 2008, the network obtained the broadcast rights to junior hockey games from the Western Hockey League.
Through its continued programming affiliation with Fox Sports Networks, Root Sports Northwest also carries college sports events from the Western Athletic, Big Sky, Mountain West and West Coast athletic conferences.
The network formerly held the broadcast rights to the Seattle SuperSonics until the NBA franchise relocated to Oklahoma City (as the Oklahoma City Thunder) in 2008. It also carried NBA games involving the Portland Trail Blazers, until Comcast SportsNet Northwest assumed the broadcast rights in 2007, as well as WNBA games from the Seattle Storm, before those games moved over-the-air to former sister television station KING-TV (on its 5.2 digital subchannel) and KONG-TV.
Current on-air staff
- Brad Adam – Mariners pre-game and post-game host, basketball play-by-play, studio host and sideline reporter (2000–present)
- Mike Blowers – Mariners baseball analyst (2007–present)
- Tom Glasgow – football and basketball play-by-play (2008–present)
- Bill Krueger – senior baseball analyst (2000–present)
- Angie Mentink – host of College Football Northwest and College Basketball Northwest, and sideline reporter (1999–present)
- Warren Moon – host of Seahawks All Access (2003–present)
- Jen Mueller – host of Mariners All Access and sideline reporter (2007–present)
- Dave Sims – Mariners baseball play-by-play (2007–present)
- Jason Stiles – football analyst (2006–present)
- Dave Valle – Mariners baseball analyst (2010–present)
Former on-air staff
- Shaun Alexander – host of The Shaun Alexander Show (2002–2004)
- Cara Capuano – anchor/reporter (2004–2008)
- Brian Davis – NBA host (2004–2008, now Oklahoma City Thunder play-by-play announcer for Fox Sports Oklahoma)
- Jason Gesser – football analyst and contributor for Cougars All Access (2009–2011)
- Dave Niehaus – Mariners play-by-play announcer (died on November 10, 2010)
- Don Poier – play-by-play announcer (died on January 21, 2005)
- Kerry Sayers – anchor/reporter (2002–2004, now at WSCR and WFLD in Chicago)
- John Strong – Portland Timbers play-by-play (2007–2013)
- Mack Strong – college football analyst and host of Mack Strong: Seahawks Insider (2008–2011)
- Sonny Sixkiller – college football analyst
- Lenny Wilkens – NBA expert and college basketball analyst (2006–2013)
- Nicole Zaloumis – sideline reporter (2008–2010, now with Sirius XM Radio)
- R. Thomas Umstead (July 8, 1996). "Liberty Sports regionals will become Fox Sports net". Multichannel News. The Walt Disney Company. Retrieved April 9, 2015 – via HighBeam Research.
- Nick Daschel (November 1, 1996). "PRIME SPORTS TO BECOME FOX SPORTS NW". The Columbian. Columbian Publishing Company. Retrieved April 9, 2015 – via HighBeam Research.
- "News Corp. Reaches Deal with Liberty Media". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. December 22, 2006. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
- Todd Spangler (May 4, 2009). "DirecTV, Liberty Media Announce Spin-Off Plan". Multichannel News. Reed Business Information. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
- Deborah Yao (May 4, 2009). "DirecTV, Liberty Media Detail Spinoff Plans". The News & Observer. Associated Press. Retrieved May 4, 2009.[dead link]
- Mike Reynolds (November 20, 2009). "Liberty Sports Rebrands As DirecTV Sports Networks". Multichannel News. NewBay Media. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
- "'Root Sports' new name for sports networks". Denver Business Journal. American City Business Journals. December 17, 2010.
- Nick Eaton (April 16, 2013). "Update: Mariners buy, will control ROOT SPORTS Northwest TV network". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
- "Root Sports regional nets now part of AT&T Sports Networks". Awful Announcing. Ken Fang. April 9, 2016. Retrieved April 9, 2016.