Timbers Announce Founding Partnership with ROOT SPORTS™

Network to televise 16 Timbers games in Hi-Def

Timbers Army fisheye

Photo Credit: 
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

PORTLAND, Ore.— The Portland Timbers today announced that ROOT SPORTS will be the exclusive regional sports network of the Major League Soccer (MLS) club as part of a new Founding Partnership beginning with the inaugural 2011 season. ROOT SPORTS is the new brand identity of FSN Northwest that will officially launch on-air on April 1, 2011.

At the heart of the Founding Partnership, ROOT SPORTS will televise 16 regular-season Timbers games this season in high definition to soccer fans across the Northwest, extending the reach of the Portland club well beyond the state of Oregon through the network’s five-state region. The partnership is more than that of a television provider, however, as ROOT SPORTS has extended its commitment not just to the team and its fans, but to the greater soccer and sports communities throughout the Northwest.

“It is a tremendous opportunity to be a founding partner of a new franchise, to help in developing the relationship between the team and a community of sports fans, and we are uniquely positioned to do so because we too are fans,” said Mark Shuken, President & CEO of DIRECTV Sports Networks, parent company of ROOT SPORTS. “With passion, connection and quality we will share the stories, the sights and the sounds of Timbers soccer and help build a fanbase that will serve as the foundation of this partnership.”

ROOT SPORTS’ coverage of the Timbers’ inaugural season begins Saturday, March 19, as the team takes on the defending MLS Cup-champion Colorado Rapids live from Dick’s Sporting Goods Park at 6 p.m. (PT). In addition to providing Timbers games to cable and satellite homes in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska, the network will also produce all of the games not televised by national outlets for other local networks, thus allowing fans to watch every Timbers match this inaugural season.

“The Timbers are thrilled to partner with ROOT SPORTS,” said Timbers President Merritt Paulson. “Our organization has had a terrific relationship with the network for over three years now and they have an unparalleled commitment to broadcast quality.”

As part of the multi-year Founding Partnership, the new ROOT SPORTS Lounge will be prominently featured at field level on the west side of the Timbers’ newly renovated stadium. This area, sold on a yearly basis, will include a unique viewing experience for Timbers fans, featuring table seating field-side for approximately 100 fans during each home game.

The partnership also includes fully integrated, co-marketing initiatives and an emphasis on youth-focused community programs.

Note to media: The Timbers’ full broadcast schedule will be released later today.

ROOT SPORTS (formerly FSN Northwest) is the cable home of the Portland Timbers, Seattle Mariners, Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Sounders FC, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars, Oregon State Beavers, Gonzaga Bulldogs and Seattle University Redhawks. The network delivers more than 350 live events each year – all of which are also available in high definition on FSN HD - to more than 3.7 million cable and satellite homes in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. ROOT SPORTS is owned and operated by DIRECTV Sports Networks LLC, which operates regional sports networks in the Northwest, Pittsburgh and Rocky Mountain regions. The three networks combined reach more than 8.7 million viewers across 18 states and own exclusive programming and distribution partnerships with more than 25 teams and conferences. DIRECTV Sports Networks is a controlled subsidiary of DIRECTV, the world’s most popular television service.