In a surprise move, the National Basketball Association's Portland Trail
Blazers Tuesday ceased operations of its own regional sports network.
Action Sports Cable Network, which carried 27 Blazers games, went dark
midnight Tuesday morning after failing to reach enough cable homes in the
Portland, Ore., marketplace.
The two-year old, high-definition cable sports channel -- owned by Charter
Communications Inc. chairman and Blazers owner Paul Allen -- failed to convince
the area's largest MSO, AT&T Broadband, to ante up 50 cents per subscriber
for its Blazers games, as well as local high-school and college games.
'Action Sports Cable Network has made the difficult decision to shut down its
regional sports channel and cease operations, effective immediately,' ASCN
executive vice president and chief operating officer Harry Hutt said.
'Unfortunately, ASCN was never able to achieve sufficient distribution of its
product to allow it to remain in business,' he added.
Sources said the Blazers will now look at a number of local outlets for its
games, including the area's incumbent regional sports network, Fox Sports Net
For many years before launching the service, the team offered its games via
pay-per-view. And in 2000, the Blazers distributed 25 games on an AT&T
Broadband local-access channel.