SEATTLE — You’ll now have to pay more to watch the Seattle Kraken on Comcast’s Xfinity this season.
Xfinity sent an email to its customers on lower-tier packages saying that Root Sports was removed from their channel lineup.
The TV and internet provider tried to put a positive spin on the change by saying the channel was removed “to provide you savings.”
Tuesday’s change happened on the day of the first game of the Kraken’s regular season.
That game was broadcast on ESPN, but Thursday’s game and the majority of the team’s regular season games will be on Root.
Xfinity went on to say that customers who no longer had Root would get a credit.
“Because Regional Sports Networks (RSN), like ROOT SPORTS, drive significant expense for our customers, we’ve removed this channel from your current TV package and will be reducing your RSN fee. Until this fee reduction goes into effect, you’ll soon see a $8.95 credit in your monthly bill,” the email said.
Customers can still get Root Sports, but only if they upgrade to Xfinity’s “Ultimate” package. That package is listed on Xfinity at $68.50/month, but that’s not including the $26.30/month broadcast TV fee and $10.35/month regional sports fee added on, or the equipment cost.
Fans say they felt blindsided by the move.
“It doesn’t give you a lot of options at the last minute it kind of forces you to spend money,” said Kraken fan, Alta. “You already have to pay so much just to watch regular TV you should be able to get the whole package deal. You should be able to watch a basic Seattle sport.”
Root Sports sent us a statement that reads, in part:
“We are disappointed that Xfinity has moved ROOT SPORTS to the Ultimate package. The timing is less than ideal.”
Comcast sent us this official statement on Wednesday regarding the change:
“We’re happy to continue offering Root Sports Northwest to our customers and making it available on a package that includes the most sports content. We’ll also be providing credits to our customers on our digital basic package who do not receive the network.”
The move is the final straw for some customers.
“My first thought was it’s just another reason to leave Xfinity,” said Dane Asay. “We’re just switching to FUBO.”
The Kraken, Mariners, and Portland Trailblazers are the three teams affected by the move. Their statements on the move are below:
“The sports broadcasting landscape is undergoing significant change. We want our games to be available to as many fans as possible, especially as we drop the puck for our third season tonight. We are aware that Xfinity has moved ROOT SPORTS to a different package. We are encouraging fans to visit rootsports.com/provider-finder to check all providers in their area and to contact Xfinity to make sure their package includes Root Sports.”
“The Seattle Mariners are disappointed that Xfinity has moved ROOT SPORTS into a package that is more expensive and less accessible to fans. Xfinity is the largest television provider in the Pacific Northwest, and their decision makes it harder for those who live here to watch their favorite teams.”
“The sports broadcasting industry is rapidly evolving, and like many sports teams, we are experiencing it in real-time. Our goal is always to provide the best broadcast to the most fans we can. We were just made aware that Xfinity has moved ROOT SPORTS to a different package, and are exploring solutions to help ease the transition and impact on our fans. We encourage fans to visit rootsports.com to check all providers in their area and to contact Xfinity to ensure their package includes ROOT SPORTS.”
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