PORTLAND, Ore. -- A 25-year relationship between the Portland Trail Blazers and KGW ended after Monday night's loss to the Golden State Warriors.
Starting next season, Blazers fans will be unable to watch regular-season games on KGW.
The Blazers' new TV contract, signed last summer, designates Comcast Sports Northwest as the "exclusive media partner" of the team beginning next season, meaning CSN will have broadcast rights to all Blazers games not aired on national television.
After Monday night's game, KGW News anchor Joe Donlon shared his thoughts about the topic on Facebook.
"Over the years, KGW carried anywhere from 16 to 26 games a year. It was a unique deal, and a 'plus' for local basketball fans," Donlon wrote. "This is a sad day for basketball fans in Portland who could count on seeing several of the Blazers games 'over the air' for free.
"In the end, it's a business decision. I understand that. But it's definitely a sad day for us at KGW. We have had an amazing relationship with Rip City, and it's one we will all remember fondly," he wrote.
The post received a lot of reactions. Many of the responses were negative, voicing frustration about the contract with Comcast.
The existing contract with Comcast has frustrated Blazers fans over the past decade who have DirecTV or Dish Network, since NBC Sports Group, which owns CSN, has not been able to reach agreements on national distribution rights for the channel with either of the major satellite TV channels.
We have had an amazing relationship with Rip City, and it's one we will all remember fondly. -- KGW anchor Joe Donlon
On Tuesday, Oregonian columnist John Canzano, who hosts "The Bald Faced Truth" on 750 The Game (KXTG) in Portland, invited Donlon on his radio show to talk about the end of the Blazers' relationship with KGW.
Donlon explained that even though much of the response to his Facebook post was negative, he wasn't criticizing Comcast or the Blazers. Instead, he wanted to express his sorrow about the end of KGW's relationship with the Blazers. He said he understands the Blazers made the business decision that made the most sense for them.
The conversation also touched on the changing landscape of sports and media, the Blazers and what they mean to the city of Portland, Donlon's relationship to the Blazers (is he a fan?), whether an NHL team or other professional team will ever come to Portland and more.
Give it a listen.